Thursday, August 02, 2007

End of the mom and pops

Not a surprise, but more and more independent restaurants, delis and mom and pop type sandwich shops are falling to the wayside to clear room for fast food/restaurant chains and luxury buildings.

Recently around my office alone, we've lost a few valuable dining destinations. Pinch, the venerable "Pizza By the Inch" that was actually quite good and had some kick-ass salads, shuttered to make room for a luxury building (another small cafe was shuttered along with it). Thankfully Pinch will be moving to the Upper West Side...bad news for midtown lunchers but good news to the rich folk on the UWS who are not restaurant starved to say the least.

Canaan deli, a breakfast/lunch deli on 31st and Park is giving way to a Chipolte. Not that I was a Canaan supporter, but the residual effect of them closing has caused other delis in the area, namely Suzie's Kitchen, to become the point where waits can get up to 15-20 minutes to order your food, pay and get out of the door.

A California Pizza Kitchen chain also opened recently on Park...although everyone keeps telling me it's "fantastic" and some of boldly claimed its the "best pizza ever". I doubt that, although I do believe they've made attempts to create a turnaround in their food quality (last I had it a few years back it was dreadful, with a capital D). But still, improving quality aside, its one less "family owned" or "independent run" business to support.

Now I'm not saying that chains are the destroyer of good...but it does suck when a well liked and profitable place (i.e. Pinch) has to clear way for a new "luxury condo" development and a independent deli like Canaan has to cave into the big bad Chipolte brand. It's bad enough that you can't walk 10 feet without running into a chain these days, whether it be a salad chain like Wild Greens, Chopped and Guy and Gallard or a burrito chain like Chipolte or Burritoville (and yes I'm picking on Chipolte...i think it's way overpriced and is extremely mediocre. There I said it).

Anyway, I'm still buried in an avalanche of work here, but since I have this reputation for having people leave here hungry, here's some more "food for thought":

More on these tasty treats soon!

1 comment:

neil from the uk said...

ok...i just got really...really hungry!