Having lived in the same house for fifteen years now has afforded me an interesting perspective on some of the restaurants that have come and gone in the neighborhood over those years. It kind of cracks me up when I see a place close, and then open up as something else in a very short period of time.
Change it up
Some of these places don’t even repaint! Don’t forget, you have one chance to come out of the gate–make it a strong start. Most of the customers who are likely to go in to the place know what it was before. They remember what it looked like. If you don’t make some effort to change the concept, the menu, the layout, the look of the place–IT WILL FAIL.
Do a little leg work
Just a hint of research into the neighborhood, who lives there, what they might be interested in buying, will help you tremendously. Take the time to do the marketing leg work. Don’t just plop your new place down without a little effort and assume it will take off.
I have spoken before of the importance of keeping things up. Paint, etc. This is also important when you take over a new spot. Make the effort and take the time to do it tight. Come out strong.