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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — With so many people out of work or just trying to save money, eating an expensive meal is not something everyone can afford right now. So we wanted to know how other fine dining restaurants in downtown Wilmington are handling the tough economy.

“I definitely think it’s a struggle for people to go out for an expensive meal for sure,” says Ashley Swinson, a manager at Elijah’s.

Three restaurants have closed their doors downtown, two of them fine dining establishments. Caffe Phoenix is scheduled to close its doors July 31 and Crow Hill announced their closing Sunday. The economy has no doubt been a factor, but according to some, business has been on the upswing.

“I have seen a little increase over the last year though,” Swinson says. “You know we’ve come up a little bit,” Swinson says.

Patricia Moity, owner of Caprice Bistro, says this summer has been a blessing to business, with several movies being filmed and downtown shows and concerts. But to keep a restaurant successful, she says good customer service is key.

“I have to say that downtown since these last two, three years has been much better,” she says. “We’ve had more people come in.”

“We just have to make sure that our customers are happy and our servers are on point and taking care of their customers well because we want to make sure everyone’s happy and enjoy their visit here and come eat with us again,” Swinson says.

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