Restaurant owner drums up customers - literally

9:17 AM, Nov 28, 2011   |    comments
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Allen, 50, is living on the roof of his struggling north Austin restaurant. He is playing his electric guitar to try to drum up business. 

"The money for advertising is just no there," Allen said. "So, I thought I would just get loud and crazy. It is a desperate measure."

Allen plans to put on his publicity stunt until 2012. 

"Someone brought me a mat to sleep on, but it is just rocks, gravel and dirt and pigeon poop everywhere," Allen said.

He opened Pappy's Bar and Grill on Sept. 1 in the Allandale Shopping Center. Construction to bring the building up to code and the economy are reasons he blames for his empty tables and quiet cash registers. Some other nearby merchants told KXAN they aren't making money either. 

"I think the traffic has slowed down significantly in the last at least year since the HOV construction and Walmart moved in," a nearby business owner said. 

They are applauding Allen's idea to lure business away from big-box retailers to mom-and-pop shops. 

Allen admits there is a long road ahead, and that his stunt has left him miserable. But, despite this drawback, he is still attracting attention from shoppers.

(Copyright © 2011 NBC Universal, All Rights Reserved)

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