6 August 2007
Go downtown, dammit
Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor is apparently trying to drum up business for downtown eateries, reports meeciteewurkor. A staffer at St Simeon's Episcopal Home on the northside found this on the corkboard:
Mayor Kathy Taylor has asked for assistance in letting Downtown employees know that many of our Downtown restaurants are struggling, particularly the ones open at night. [List snipped.]
Until the BOK Center opens they need our help. Please send the attached list to anyone you know that visits downtown and remind them that during this construction period it would be appreciated if they would be patrons of our Downtown establishments.
I don't find this particularly troubling, but I must note that (1) the residents might not be able to patronize those fine Downtown establishments and (2) St Simeon's is up at 37th and N. Cincinnati, a good three or four miles from any of them.
Posted at 10:45 AM to Soonerland
What I find wrong with urging people to patronize business just because they need the business is that commercial decisions (like eating out and where) should be based only upon one's internal set of criteria: what do I want to eat? where do they serve that food and prepare it to my liking? where can I get the food I want, prepared as I want at a price I can afford/choose to pay? are there factors of convenience, ambience, etc., which militate for one place over another?
The consumer has no obligation to do business with a place solely to keep it from failing. The only time one should be concerned with the continued existence of a commercial enterprise is when one likes doing business there (and/or obtains a benefit from doing business there), and wants to offer patronage so that it doesn't close its doors. Well, also, if it is run by your friend or relative and you have an emotional stake.
It's not impossible that one's own internal criteria might actually include Support Your Local Merchant I shop in the city when I can, so the city gets the sales-tax revenue but this particular incident struck me as an effort to guilt-trip people, and most people I know resent that sort of thing.
What really got me was "the restaurants open at night."
I don't know too many senior citizens that would be up at "night" just to visit a downtown restaurant. I'd rather hit Latimer's BBQ on Apache St. than hassle with downtown.
However, that said, Spaghetti Warehouse on Brady is an awesome restaurant, and I'd recommend it to anybody, anytime.