Several new restaurants around Dothan are popping up, but just as many--if not more--are closing their doors for good.
The Circle City, once a breeding ground for new businesses, is now a battlefield.
Scotty's Pizza, Koi Steakhouse, Popeyes, TCBY, Moe's Southwest Grill, the Seafood Hut, and Nip and Ernies have all closed their doors.
"Several years ago, a restaurant magazine named Dothan the fifth best place to open a restaurant, and everyone just flooded us" said Donna Balzaratti, the owner of the Basket Case Caf. "It's really hard now days, going up against the chains being a mom and pop. You just have to persevere and tighten your belt and go."
As the owner of the Basket Case Caf, Balzaratti has 24 years of experience, and knows just how difficult it is to run a business in today's economy.
"With the opening of several new places we just have to live through it," she said. "It's kind of a scary business if you don't have the nerves of steel."
And there are several businesses vying for Dothan's stomachs and wallets.
Cheddars recently opened its doors to a full crowd, Gigi's Cupcakes is opening up next week, and Buffalo Wild Wings is on its way to opening.
Balzaratti said small businesses can compete if they have the right recipe of marketing and communications.
"Give away samples of your food, join the Chamber of Commerce. You need to sign up for everything. Do everything," said Balzaratti.
And it doesn't hurt to make sure you have good tasting food.