People line up inside and outside some Redlands businesses, and they're willing to wait on line to spend their money.
Whether it's coffee, ice cream, dinner, drinks in a unique venue, or special entertainment, some business owners and managers have clearly identified niche consumer demands in the Redlands-Loma Linda area.
Natalie Mercado, a bartender at The Vault on Vine Street, spoke Thursday afternoon with Redlands-Loma Linda Patch about lines that form some nights and the business' enduring popularity.
"I think one reason is we've been around 12 years, and people know the place," Mercado said. "We always have something going on every night. . . . Starting Monday we have karaoke, Tuesdays we have $2 wells, which is a big hit, and Wednesdays we have open mike. Thursday we have a DJ, Friday we have a DJ, and then Saturdays we always have a live band. Sundays it is what it is.
"Lines, Tuesdays and Fridays, we get lines."
Other local businesses are doing well by offering hand-crafted fare, such as à la minute ice cream on Citrus Avenue.
"I think à la minute, you know it's something different and I think people kind of like the variety and difference," Mercado said. "You don't really find that kind of product being sold anywhere, so they can market that that way, you know?
"It's good. It's all fresh, organic produce, you know from local growers, which is like a big interest," Mercado said. "At Caprice and at the ice cream shop, à la minute. I think people enjoy having, bringing in the community and having local growers, that kind of like artisan touch.
"For local businesses to succeed you just gotta have something that folks want, and market that," Mercado said. "Other businesses that are doing well, the Underground in the Cope Building, next to à la minute, they're doing pretty well.
"Augie's has been there quite a while as well," Mercado said. "They do well. Steady. Again, I think it's like they roast their own coffee and people are attracted to having something, instead of Starbucks or generic in a sense."
Nabil Ayoub, manager of Caprice Cafe on State Street, also spoke with Redlands-Loma Linda Patch on Thursday afternoon about his business' viability in spite of a challenging economy.
Ayoub's family opened Caprice in 1988 and their authentic Mediterranean cuisine has made the establishment a Redlands fixture.
"Now we call it California Mediterranean . . . Cal Med," Ayoub said. "Our business has always improved slightly every year. After 24 years it seems to be settling into more of a viable enterprise finally. The economy did not affect us very much actually, I think, and I've tried to figure out why. It seemed like we should have suffered from it, but we didn't.
"What I get from it, from like people's comments and people wondering why we've done ok, it's because we do offer quality, and people in the end did not sacrifice quality," Ayoub said. "Maybe they stopped going to other places but they kept coming here. They felt like they were getting something out of it, that they weren't throwing their money away.
"So that made me feel kind of good about what I was doing. . . . I did hear that some others were losing business, or they were suffering, and that also was part of my surprise, the fact that we did not get that here. I don't know why it is."
Other businesses that cater to specific consumer demands include . The eclectic clientele includes patrons of all ages, from young adults to seniors, life-long natives of Redlands and ex-pat Irish, English and other Europeans who work and live in the Redlands-Loma Linda area.
On Saturday The Falconer will open before noon to broadcast the UEFA Champions League Final live from Germany. Two of Europe's strongest soccer clubs, Bayern Munich and Chelsea FC, will square off in a match watched by a global audience expected to rival or exceed the annual NFL Super Bowl's reach.
The Falconer will be offering full English breakfast for the big match, Falconer general manager Marina Vasquez said earlier this month.
Coverage of the Champions League final is expected to begin at 11 a.m. Pacific Time, Saturday May 19. The Royal Falconer British Pub is at 106 Orange St., Redlands. For more information call (909) 307-8913.