Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mittweida’s Restaurant Scene Suffering


Several restaurant closures since 2013 trouble residents, who wish for more variety but are forced to leave Mittweida for a meal out.

Before Labor Day, Taganrog, the new Russian-Italian restaurant on Rochlitzer Street in the center of town was suddenly closed, with a sign on the door stating that the restaurant would remain closed indefinitely due to illness.  Last week a similar sign was spotted on the door of the Ratsherrenstube, a long-standing and popular German restaurant on Technikumplatz next to the university’s main building.  Founder of the Facebook page “Mein Mittweede” Matthias Dittrich reported on Tuesday that while illness is the supposed reason for the closure of the Ratsherrenstube, the real reason for the closure is that “the couple who ran the restaurant have broken up.”  Both restaurants were often full, so they leave a gap in Mittweida’s eatery scene that residents regret.

These are just two recent examples, but over the past few years, Mittweida has lost a number of bars, restaurants, and cafes.  On Rochlitzer Street alone, three locales have closed since 2013:  Black and White, the Coffee Bean, and Hilpert’z.  Looking farther back, you might remember Das Boot, the Greek restaurant on Technikumplatz, Casablanca, the Theatercaf√© or the Schlemmereck, all of which have closed in recent years.  Mittweida resident Claudia Nebel praised the Schlemmereck’s good food and fair prices, but says, “Now when I want to eat out, I have to drive at least to Frankenberg, where there’s a good Greek restaurant.”  Anne Merkel, a lifelong Mittweida resident, is also saddened by the lack of quick, healthy options for lunch for herself and her colleagues at the Pharmakologisches Studienzentrum located near the hospital.  “We would love to have some fast, fresh options for lunch which aren’t pizza or kebab,” Merkel said when asked about the dining situation.  Mittweida’s students also complain that there is no nightlife in the small college town, and they aren’t interested in the existing German restaurants such as Mittweida’s Stube, Moritzburg, or the Waldhaus.  There appears to be demand for more choices on Mittweida’s dining scene.

Clearly the population of Mittweida wants to go out to eat, but why don’t aspiring restaurateurs take the plunge?  Neurologist Ralf Bodenschatz, longtime Mittweida resident and entrepreneur, believes that, “People think they can open a restaurant, cook a little bit, and get rich, but they have no idea of the business side of operating a restaurant.”  This could be one of the reasons behind the flood of recent openings and closures.  Readers, what do you think?  Visit our poll and tell us your opinion about the future of gastronomy in Mittweida:  https://de.surveymonkey.com/r/FDHWBXZ

UPDATE, JULY 4, 2016:  The Russian restaurant on Rochlitzer Str. which was previously named Taganrog has been reopened with the name Rodina.  The restaurant appears to have many customers each evening and a new menu with a focus solely on Russian cuisine.  
Photo:  Sarah Reader