Re: say it ain't so

06/30/05 - posted by Frank Dunnigan

Well, this is a lousy way to start the 2nd half of the year...Where to go for minestrone and clam chowder? Where to stop after picking up friends from the airport? Where to grab a late lunch/early dinner that will satisfy you for the rest of the day? Joe's of Westlake was always the unanimous decision.

Hope it's not true, but then think about it...We've already outlined how many favorite old food places have also folded--Big Daddy Hamburgers, Bino's, Ernie's Neptune Fish Grotto, Zim's, Foster's, West Portal Joe's, Gino's in the Financial District, Salmagundi, Luzern on Noriega, Shaw's Ice Cream, Herb's Deli, Toto's Pizza in Daly City...Lyon's just up the hill from Joe's on John Daly Boulevard has closed, along with the Lyon's on San Bruno Avenue near El Camino near the airport, and they used to pack 'em in. Remember the chain of Peppermill Restaurants? Thought I was going to have dinner with some friends recently at the one in Santa Clara, until I drove up--empty & locked up for a couple of months now.

Sad to say, but food service is a tough business. Add to that the Bay Area's sky-high real estate prices--wouldn't Mr. Doelger be amazed to see his little houses breaking through the $500,000 price-point, with some of the bigger ones headed towards $1 million! I always thought that when that huge bank building went up behind Joe's it was an ominous sign of things to come. Was that in the '80s?

Once land prices reach a certain point, some uses begin make more financial sense (condos) than others (restaurants, restaurants, hardware stores, shoe repair shops, or whatever). However, the neighborhoods that emerge are never quite as livable without these lost amenities.

Pretty soon, there won't be anywhere for a group to go on the way home from Holy Cross Cemetery for a drink and a hot meal...Face it, there are times in our lives that we all need more than just McDonald's.

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