Sometimes a Square Peg CAN Fit Into a Round Hole

By: Mr. Wilson on April 2, 2009
The Missus and I did something last night we don't do very often: we hired a babysitter and went out for a nice meal during which neither of us had to say the words "sit down" or "eat your supper". We opted to go to 9 South Chargrill, one of our local favorites. The Missus went with the tuna melt ($7.00), which she said was fantastic, and a salad. I chose the teriyaki salmon ($13) with garlic mashed potatoes and mixed veggies (yellow squash, red bell pepper, broccoli). I wish I had taken a photo because the food was quite picturesque on my plate; it tasted as good as it looked. As we were leaving, The Missus and I talked about how 9 South is a bit of an enigma. The property formerly housed auto repair shops and used car lots, hardly the sort of place you would expect to look for a nice meal. Tina's Cafe, located just down the street, seems a perfect fit for that chunk of South Street. 9 South, on the other hand, seems better suited to a location on South Street closer to the Country Club neighborhood. And the size! 9 South is such a tiny space. Yet it works, and it works very well. The worst thing I've ever heard someone say about 9 South is that "it's ok", whereas most folks seem to think the food, service, and atmosphere is quite good. That all makes me wonder if there are "rules" about making a business succeed where you wouldn't expect it to. I suspect there's an element of misdirection involved -- if you offer up the right distractions, people will either forgive the "wrong" location or even fail to notice it altogether. What other examples of businesses in "wrong" locations can you think of in Lincoln? Do they share any commonalities?


See what your friends and neighbors have to say about this.

April 2, 2009 at 2:26PM

My first thought is something like Lee’s. For so many years it was quite a ways off the beaten path, yet it was extremely successful. I’m not sure how it’s doing lately.

I’ve only heard good things about Tina’s and 9 South; good food and service trumps a lot.

April 2, 2009 at 4:47PM

I’m a huge fan of 9 South as well, but ironically I don’t think as much of Billy Browns downtown.  Not sure why that is.

As for the square pegs:

1. Bread and Cup - Proves whomever was in Magnolia’s before that people will find it if it’s good.

2. M & N Sandwich.  It fits the area, but brings in a different mix of customers than you would expect.

3. Redfox on West O.  I’ve seen everything from near biker fights to a table full of suits here for good food.

4. Outback - Centrally located, but could easily go in on the south or east side of town instead.

Share your thoughts with the community.

Commenting is no longer permitted on this post.