It’s been a tough go of late for area businesses—especially restaurants. Some of the worst news for local foodies came in March, when word spread that Majolica, Phoenixville’s preeminent BYO, was shutting down. Fans lamented the loss of Andrew Deery’s eclectic, locally inspired cuisine. And as their inboxes filled with supportive e-mails, Deery and his wife, Sarah, pondered their options.
“We backed ourselves into a corner as a special-occasion restaurant with a menu built around sophisticated, unusual luxury items and the assumption that diners would want several courses,” says Deery. “We loved the concept, and it seemed like our customers did, too.”
Majolica started to see its numbers drop last fall. “Our weekends were busy, but during the week, we were way off,” Deery says. “There’s such a narrow profit margin to begin with. When you start losing business, everything starts crashing down.”
Motivated by the massive outpouring of concern and encouragement, the Deerys revamped their business model, downsizing the kitchen staff and lowering prices. They added Sundays and amped up PR to bring in more customers. The website displays a sleek new logo and touts Majolica’s affordability.
These days, you’ll still find plenty of eclectic creations. But in place of the grass-fed Aussie rib-eye, royal trumpet mushrooms and potato croquettes, you’ll find a more modest steak frites entrÃ©e. There’s a $25 prix fixe menu available on select weeknights, a new monthly newsletter, cooking classes, special events, and no corkage fee.
“It’s a great skill to adapt and gain an understanding of where the business fits into our lives,” says Deery.
258 Bridge St., Phoenixville; (610) 917-0962, majolicarestaurant.com.