It's been almost four months since Lil' Mo's Cafe took over the premises of Blue Point Grill in Stratford Center and owner Maureen McLarin is happy with how things are going.
"I have a great team behind me," McLarin, who used to co-own Bun N' Burger at Paradise Green, told Stratford Patch Tuesday. "I'm pleasantly surprised how I've been able to transition into full service."
"You never know what to expect [but] I feel like it's been seamless," says McLarin, before adding, "Failure is not an option."
McLarin admits that the blizzard last month "threw her for a loop." She says she lost three days of business and about $500 worth of food, but when Lil' Mo's reopened on Monday the place was packed.
"Everyone was stir-crazy so they came in Monday night," says McLarin, who along with her husband and one bartender, were the only ones to clock in Monday.
"I can feel the business is growing," says the owner. McLarin says Bun N' Burger fans are trickling in to her new venture. "It's so nice to see the familiar faces."
On Tuesday, a man was installing a jukebox toward the front of the restaurant. "A lot of people have been asking for it," says McLarin. "People like to play their own music, dance."
McLarin says it's small things like listening to customers and being a constant presence at the restaurant -- "I'm always on the floor," she says -- that have contributed to the early success of Lil' Mo's Cafe.
"I'm very pleased I stayed in Stratford," she says. "I know the people, I can relate to them."