Back from Idaho, with lots more to report, but here's a quick distraction, courtesy the lame brains at Forbes and originally typed up for Eater.
Pike Place Market's Athenian Inn is a beloved, 103-year-old Seattle institution with ten-buck breakfasts. What it's not, despite much ballyhooed claims by Forbes.com, is the fifth or sixth highest grossing independent restaurant in the country with an astounding income of $19.1 million a year. (Here's their original article.)
"Totally wrong," GM Eddie Clark told me on the phone this afternoon.
We all know, here in Seattle, that the highest-grossing restaurant in town, at $13 million a year, is the Space Needle's Sky City. That's a bit more than $1 million a month, or $30,000-plus a day. Not hard to do if your restaurant seats 200 people and you serve 300 lunches (at, say, an average check of $30) and another 300 dinners (at, say, $65).
But if your average check is under $20, and you're only open from 6 AM to 8:30 PM, and you've got slow times during the day, and if Forbes doesn't even count alcohol sales (thus ignoring the Athenian's touristy bar scene), well you get the picture. No way.
At best, we'll give Athenian 300 customers and $6,000 a day. About two million bucks a year. Not shabby, but sheesh! Forbes--that bastion of supposedly reliable information about our country's millionaires--was off by a factor of 10. Sheesh.