Restaurants are stunned. Residents are in mourning.
I heard rumors that Buco was throwing in the towel two weeks ago after the last Bight Board meeting. I didn't want to believe it, and I didn't want to spread the rumor. If it were true, it was bad news. But if I was wrong, it would be an awful false rumor to spread.
Now that the news is out (and I won't be the shot messenger) let me offer some hope.
Key West Chronicle has learned that a "white knight" has stepped forward and may purchase the Waterfront Market from Buco and continue its operation. Also, employees have been instructed to no longer tell people that the market is closing at the end of September.
And this makes all the sense in the world. The business is a valuable business - and Buco would be far better off selling it than simply closing its doors.
Lets hope so.
But none of this diminishes the poor sighted city plan to get every last dollar from their tenants. I have said it before on this blog: The best tenant is not necessarily the highest paying tenant.
What the city is missing in its oversimplified method of looking at tenants is the value of GOODWILL - an intangible asset. (Goodwill is a term used to reflect the fact that an ongoing business had some "intrinsic value" beyond its assets, such as the reputation the firm enjoyed with its clients, community, and customers.)
Though the Waterfront/Buco situation is more complex than has been reported (and I won't go into any further detail), the City is foolishly squandering the quality of life enjoyed by its residents - all for a few dollars more, while ignoring the value of the Waterfront Market's goodwill.
Remember, the search for a highest-paying tenant usually takes months and months. And when finally found, that tenant is unproven - and with the enormous rent, possibly unstable.
The best tenant is the tenant that adds value to the community, is viable over the long run, and is a respectable partner. That is the definition of the Waterfront Market and Buco.
Above all, best wishes and high praises to Buco. You are the best.
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