It’s been how many years that I’ve been writing this blog? (Complimentary cocktail for the 1st correct answer!)
So, I know folks read it. The clicks confirm the visits. It doesn’t tell me though, how many people make it to the end. Sometimes people have commented online, but not that much. Regularly, someone I see at our restaurants or around town says something nice; “Hey, loved your last blog” and, occasionally, “You’re a jerk.” Or a snowflake. Or a this and that. And of course, every very once in awhile, someone joins the boycott club. (The babies–”Waa waa…don’t like what you said…will never eat your delicious food again…”)
But in all those years, I’ve never, ever written anything that created the attention and involvement that the last one did (10,000+ clicks/views/shares!) Damn, Lowell–I LOVE the passion. In the 30+ years I have lived in Lowell, I’ve seen that passion many times. It’s pretty great.
For those of you who don’t have ALL the “facts” straight–whether you voiced in this blog, on Facebook, barked in my face or my staff’s, while visiting our restaurants, or otherwise…I have a few follow up comments, for the sake of clarity.
We (meaning I) don’t have a super strong opinion about what is right for the future students of Lowell High School. Soft opinions, yes. But many, many more questions. There is not enough information and, way too many interests involved, for us (meaning me) to take a strong stance for or against ANY proposal–other than the one that hurts me, my staff, my family, my guests and all those we can now afford to support through our economic success.
My last, very popular blog :), was mainly about TWO simple premise. Better information is needed to create the most informed strategy while removing emotion, AND, Lowell leadership should discover an option that does not take my neighbors land by eminent domain, which in turn hurts my business, and hurts two successful downtown businesses, thereby taking an economic step backwards. Lowell cannot and should not afford taking backward steps.
We don’t work for “the dentist’s” and they don’t work for us. They didn’t pay me for my opinion. In fact, they charge me no small fee to use their parking lot. True, we are neighbors, they have been great customers, we are (less so) occasional customers (though I may still be paying off some braces!). We lease their parking lot in order to capitalize on the upside potential of our three floors and 12,000 (expensive!) square feet, while creating convenience for our guests. Simply put, their loss is also our loss.
Yes, “The dentist’s” charge us annually, and “yes” they lease parking to others, in addition to you (should you choose) and others during downtown event nights. It’s their lot, it’s their right. And that’s the deal we made. Our guests must recognize that the lot is “free” to them on non event nights because WE pay “The dentists”, and, on event nights, you must pay them too.
Cobblestones makes zero money from “The dentists” parking charges. Such is a rumor. Our interest in maintaining this relationship is the connection to maintaining our volume and our guests convenience. It is “The dentists” who hired “the nasty” guy who collects your money. THAT is why we cannot give you a credit on parking. If we managed the lot, we would do so much differently. We’ve never been offered the option.
You do NOT have to park there. Event nights or otherwise. There are many other options, which include walking an extra block or two. But, “The dentists” have done a great job landscaping and lighting, plowing and cleaning, being kind to my staff, and it is right next door. And, if you DO decide to park there, be nice to the attendant. Don’t argue. It goes a long way. He deals with a lot of shit, and rain, and snow, etc. Be kind. He’s just doing his job.
**And if he “refuses” to let you turn around to park elsewhere and demands that you pay him for entering the lot, do NOT threaten to run him over (Dennis!) Just smile, pull out, call me, I’ll call “The dentist’s” and we’ll give him a stern talking to!
THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR ONGOING SUPPORT!