Thursday, January 7, 2010

Breaking chains

I'm sure a lot of people will be wailing and gnashing their teeth about the demise of McFadden's on Front St.  I'm sure the propaganda wing of the Research Bureau will find a way to make McFadden's closing a perfect example of the inequities of the dual tax rate.

Personally, I can't say I'm sorry to see it go. I don't like seeing any business fail in Downtown, because I spend time there and don't find it as scary and menacing as the posters on the T&G message boards (with the exception of Gabe's comment...bravo!).

I won't shed a tear over the closing of a boring, unoriginal chain bar/restaurant with mediocre food and bad DJs, especially when there are so many better options within walking distance (even on a frigid winter night).

I'd much rather spend my time at The Dive Bar, Tammany Hall, Fiddler's Green, The Lucky Dog, 55 Pearl or the Armsby Abbey, all of which are located at the heart of the scary ghost town known as Downtown Worcester.  They all possess unique qualities that make them good places to visit and return, whether it is good food, great live music, or great beer.

Timothy McGourthy, the director of economic development for Worcester doesn't seem to understand that:
"“The owner said there are a few interested parties for that space,” he said. “That's a positive sign. This is one of those things that happen in a tough economy. But there are those that see this as an opportunity. The city will be supportive of whoever comes next.” Mr. McGourthy said McFadden's had a rich population of professional workers and students to draw from downtown, but was not able to remain with steady business through the day. He said that the delay of $564 million mixed-use CitySquare probably did not play a role in the company's decision to pull out. “They had a population in downtown that would go out to lunch, but they were never able to really capture it,” he said of McFadden's. “We want CitySquare, but we have to have something that brings people in. We will help whoever goes in there address the issue of being able to bridge the full day.”
 They didn't have steady business because they wasn't a reason for people to return! 

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