Highly visible restaurants in the Ogden area of New Hanover County shutting down and many are wondering if it is cause for concern or an opportunity for the innovative? It has become a noticeable change driving on Market Street in Odgen, businesses have been dwindling, especially restaurants. “They say one of the hardest things to run is a restaurant, in any kind of economy,” said Aleta Young of Ogden. Hamburger Joes and the Naked Kingfish have both recently announced they're closing their doors. One can't help but wonder what's to blame, is it the economy, the location, or both? “Too many places in one area, maybe spread them out a bit. You know, maybe spread them out a little bit. It's hard to say,” said Ogden resident Nick Sabella. Keith Rhodes has served as head chef at Wilmington’s Deluxe, and four years ago opened Catch in downtown. He says in order to stay afloat in this economy, restaurants have to work hard to stand out. “I think that if you're not really doing anything to set yourself away from what everybody else is doing, then you tend to get lost in the mix of everybody else.” Rhodes said owners need to be flexible with the economy, even if it means pitching in. “Wash some dishes, clean some walls, take out the trash, be the last one to sweep and clean up. This is what I do now, whereas maybe a year or two ago I wasn't doing it as much; now I do.” In fact, Rhodes is planning to open up a new location for Catch in the Ogden area and thinks that with adjusted goals and a fresh mindset, he'll be able to succeed. “I am not looking to meet the same goals as I was a year or two ago; these goals have changed. They've been lowered, they've been adjusted.” And it's this approach that could put Ogden back in business Owner C.M. Rogers of the Naked Kingfish says he thinks the area is more suited for fast food restaurants, which have been booming while higher price range establishments suffered.
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