The NDDC visted Norman Butler at the latest establishment in his growing empire, Butler’s Steak & Ale. In just ten years, Norman has created three restaurants in downtown Northfield and now employs close to fifty people, both full and part-time.
When asked what he likes best about Northfield, Norman responded “it’s a sophisticated community, in terms of talents and tastes, open to a wide variety of concepts”. He added that the market is receptive to innovation, which allows him to experiment, and people in Northfield always seem to try new things with genuine enthusiasm.
As for the challenges he has found, Butler said that he thinks sometimes City Hall makes things harder and more expensive than they need to be. He also believes that staff may have less interest in smaller scale projects. Finally, he suggests that City leadership should remember the historic nature of downtown when implementing code requirements.
As for how we could improve the quality of life for him and his people, he said that we should help residents and businesses stay in Northfield with lower costs. He also mentioned a performing arts center and…of course…a movie theater.