This is going to be a quickie today, tacos are a callin. Oh, and I stole this graphic for you.
I read somewhere yesterday where someone was touting Gino’s West as a breath of independent fresh air to the chain restaurant addled scenery of WDSM and that “Finally some local dining” had come to that area. I would like to remind whomever wrote that semi-nonsensical comment somwhere on the internerd that the two prior occupants (Graze and Ciao) of the current home of Gino’s West (5513 Mills Civic Pkwy # 100 WDSM, IA 50266 515-226-2320) were both local-ish and independent-ish and unfortunately for them lasted about as long as the restaurant world’s equivalent to an okay bull ride. Is Gino’s local? Absolutely, and many of the people I have shared employers with were in some way connected to the Gino’s empire. But this isn’t about how local Gino’s is, or how (here we go) the one time I went there for lunch it was pretty meh (yes, one visit doesn’t make a “review,” but I am not a reviewist, but a customer. One visit CAN lose you customers). This little rant is brought about by the general public’s continuing unwillingness to support the existing local business framework. Yes, the economy still sucks like an Electrolux even though the powers that be have declared that there is no more problem while millions of out of work Americans will be losing their unemployment benefits (due to funding) by the end of 2010 as the financial sector that screwed/ripped off everyone and caused an enormous chunk of that unemployment laughs all the way to the money counting machine and the “Average Jane/Joe” type gets relegated to shopping at big discount chains for all their home goods, stopping by McD’s for some drive through bilge and somehow they are expected to support local business????? WHEW!
Yes, some of the recently failed local businesses had some problems both internal and external which caused their demise. Whatever the problems, the bottom line is that the customers just weren’t there. The chains stand strong because they have figured out a way to bleed a little from some stores and lick their wounds with other more profitable locations because for some fucking strange reason, even though most folks these days are crying “buy local,” the general public still has enough trust in the chains that brings them back to deposit what little entertainment dollar they have managed to scrape up into the pockets of some folks that are probably incorporated in the state of Delaware. Don’t shake your head. You all do it. I even do it. I will admit that sometimes I get down non-locally. And we give the chains our money and watch as the local businesses sink. We will get back to this.
Here are three local restaurants that are opening in the next two days: Zingaro (Thursday at 5p), Flour (Thursday 11a), and Big City Burgers and Greens* (although BCBAG seems to be a template for future franchising) but for RIGHT NOW they are local, downtown, and I want to see them succeed. All you locavore wanna-be WDSM folks who work in the downtown DMZ had better get your butts in their chairs at least once, give them a chance. Don’t cause them to be the next Gateway Market West, Ciao, Graze (so help me if we ever get something else like Graze plz shoot me), uh, or all those other places that closed in the last twelve years since Winni has been doing her dance.
You want more local, then f-ing rep local.
Yes, I have my underpants in a bunch. But at least I bought them locally. And they are bunched quite locally.
* BCBAG is located at 400 Locust St, Suite 195, DMZ. They open tomorrow at 11a. I will be going there for lunch and telling you “less fortunate people,” the vegetarians, all about the Veg options there.
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