WorldChanging tickled my thought muscles today with a cool post about restaurants and other businesses sharing space.

WorldChanging's Julia Levitt starts off her article:

Visiting Jackson, Wyoming, earlier this month, I stumbled upon a local gem: the Everest Momo Shack, a family owned BYOB where a friend and I feasted on the Nepalese dumplings that give the place its name. We enjoyed it so much that the next afternoon we returned with SOs in tow, but were met with a surprise: a crew of bearded, suntanned and decidedly American cooks were serving up stuffed-to-the-gills breakfast burritos. I chatted with the kitchen staff to confirm the restaurant's split personality: By day, it's a burrito joint; four nights each week, it's the Momo Shack.
My dad ran his own restaurant when I was growing up named (creatively so) Gunthers Restaurant-- I always gave him crap about the missing apostrophe -- that was only open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. It would have been great if he handed off the joint to another set of restauranteurs as he headed out the door at the end of the day.

Sharing space makes a lot of sense on many levels -- ecological, financial and even from a marketing point of view -- the novelty of a roving restaurant or split personality space is a great way to differentiate in an often-crowded market, especially if you're catering to green-minded customers. Julia highlights one chef who bucked the norm when he opened his restaurant out of his house in 2004. Ethiopian born Eskender Aseged has since grown out of his home and rotates the location of his restaurant every week or so, making use of cafes and coffee shops that close in the evening. The coffee shops get a cut of the money made from selling drinks during a time that they otherwise wouldn't be making money and Mr. Aseged dodges the cost and headache of maintaining a permanent physical brick-and-mortar location.

And the environment wins because sharing facilities and resources cuts down on the amount of energy required to build and maintain the space.

Swing over to Julia's story and give it a read. I'd love to see more of that kind of thing pop up.

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