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The Tough Economics Of Opening A Restaurant

By Melissa McEwen in Food on May 29, 2014 6:00PM

Parachute, photo by Laura Stolpman.

The Tribune's Kevin Pang breaks down the numbers behind opening a restaurant, as well as the human story behind the scenes in his profile of Parachute.

Wife-and-husband team Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark reveal the math, as well as the toll and the stress long hours of physical work can take. It's an uncommonly transparent look into the realities of the restaurant business, where hours can be long and salaries can be low. Financial challenges start at the outset, with investment into building out the restaurant and purchasing equipment. Once the restaurant opens, they have to hope that the number of diners will be enough to keep them going without using up their tiny cushion of leftover money.

But for Kim and Clark it's all worth it. Kim says, "We think about food all the time. I've invested my whole adult life into cooking, and I can't see myself doing anything else."

Parachute is now open at 3500 N Elston Ave.

First Look: Parachute