Bill Miller, a D.C.-based real estate broker who largely works with restaurants, has seen [the desire to experiment with a menu] play out in the chefs he’s worked with over the years. Ambitious cooks constantly tell him they just want a small place where they can literally have a hand in making every dish.
“But I tell them you can’t really make a lot of money doing that, and they’ll look at me like I’m crazy,” he says. These days, many don’t even talk about rent at first, Miller says. But eventually the whole picture has to come together — location, pricing, a concept diners will show up for — to make sure the restaurant is financially viable.