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First & First Southern Baking Co. is Over & Out

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Ray Hicks, from West Virginia, had the right idea: A downtown breakfast and lunch spot that served home-style Southern cooking and old-fashioned baked treats. Then venue was bright and clean, the muffins, pineapple upside-down cake, and some two dozen other goods beckoned from pie stands on a counter up front, and breakfasts such as blackberry waffles with real maple syrup were delectable. We liked eating breakfast here so much we named it Best Breakfast 2011.

And yet, on the other hand service and food could be incredibly uneven and inconsistent. So many people I've spoken to about the place confessed a yearning for just the sort of fare that First & First produced, but each and every one had some sort of negative experience while dining there.

This is an example of a restaurant concept being just fine, but the self-inflicting wound of slack execution doing the business in. Too bad.

A call was placed to Mr. Hicks; if he calls back I'll let you know what he thinks the problem was.

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