Richard Rubio, dealer principal of Manhattan Motorcars of the Hamptons, built an upscale Italian restaurant above his luxury-vehicle showroom. He spoke with Staff Reporter Gail Kachadourian in August.
What's more challenging, being a dealer or a restaurateur?
Dealer. It's much more complex. It's very competitive with today's Web sites and people shopping cars throughout the country.
How does the restaurant improve your relationship with dealership customers?
It's just another toy for them. They really want service. They really want to feel comfortable when they walk into the place, and they really feel comfortable when they see my sons are here and my wife.
What type of traffic does the restaurant bring to your showroom?
We're meeting customers who have never stopped in this dealership before. They would have never stopped. It increased our foot traffic in the dealership. It's a destination.