This Week on the Street April 28, 2011

by Harold Shumacher

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In case you were wondering the great recession ended a year and a half ago. At least according to New York based economist Ryan Severino.  Speaking at the first retail conference sponsored by Interface and Shopping Center News, Severino claims the economic recovery started in the fall of 2009 but admits it will be a slow recovery primarily because of slow job growth which could take up to six years to stabilize.

Other highlights from the day-long conference included the continuing appeal of well-located in town restaurants (with reports of 2007 level rental rates in some core Atlanta markets); the continuing popularity of on-line shopping; the continuing lack of capital and the substitution of free rent for tenant improvement allowances.

Considering the large number of people sitting in Starbucks on their computers it should hardly be a surprise that the popular coffee purveyor ranked highest in a recent survey about mentions on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.             Americans will consume more than 70 million-lbs. of avocados for Cinco de Mayo this year, according to the California Avocado Commission.  What are we washing all that guac down with how about wine. For the first time ever in 2010, wine lovers in the United States sipped more of the grape than any other nation — including France. We drank 330 million 12-bottle cases in 2010 compared to 321 million for the French, according to California-based industry consultants Gomberg, Fredrikson & Assoc. We’re not ahead per-capita, of course. The average French aficionado drinks five bottles a year to every one downed by an American. But we’re going up – at least 1 percent a year for the past 17 straight years. And they’re going down – by 14 percent since 2006.


Now that’s an intimate relationship with your food

The seafood dining experience has taken a turn in the tides. Now diners can actually see where their food came from thanks to a program that allows people to track their lobster dinner back to the place it came from and the fisherman who caught it. A tagging system called This fish, started in British Columbia with fish and expanded to lobster in the East Coast this past winter as a pilot project with the Canadian Council for Professional Fish Harvesters and the Maritime Fishermen’s Union.  Once fishermen have trapped and pulled in their catch of the day, they put bands on the claws of the lobsters, which is a standard procedure, but these bands have plastic tags attached with an individual number. When diners receive their lobster dinners, they can input the code on this and with a click of a button, information about the fisherman, when the lobster was caught, and the lobster fishing area, will be displayed.

If you think you’re eating more salmon you are. Salmon continues to gain popularity as consumers seek healthful meal options from the grocery store. As one of the highest-selling species, salmon gained dollar sales in 2010 across the United States. The finfish, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, contributed 12.9 percent to seafood department sales during the 52 weeks ending Dec. 25, 2010, and accounted for 36.1 percent dollar share of the finfish category.

Atlanta now boasts the second-highest percentage of self-employed minorities among the top 52 metropolitan areas with populations greater than 1 million.

ong time Atlanta night club impresario Johnny Esposito died earlier this month. It was speculated that the funeral should have been held at night as dozens of his most loyal Johnny’s Hideaway patrons seldom saw the light of day…..

Recent transactions:            Sale of  3446 Holcomb Bridge Road (Boulevard Diner) from BB&T Bank to Holcomb Bridge Ventures, LLC. The restaurant will continue operating.


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