Sean Kirst recently wrote an article, The Dinosaur: More success by design, citing one of his previous articles, The Dinosaur, by design, that reinforces that idea that we have a prime example in our town of a business that works, despite all the ways people think it should not work. And that’s the Dinosaur, now the #1 barbecue in the country. And it’s working by design.
Sean said in 2005:
Sitting in the car Thursday, watching as men and women flowed in and out of the Dinosaur, it struck me that people go there because it offers something unique – and because it embraces, rather than fears, authentic city ambiance. The funny thing is, if the Dinosaur went by the Walgreens rules (referring to Walgreens “need” for suburban, big-box style development – ed.) , a true Syracuse phenomenon would probably dry up and close its doors.
Sean reminds us that many of our pre-conceived notions of what makes a business work just fall apart in the face of this reality: a restaurant putting out top-notch food that caters to a serious diversity of people can be a destination. It doesn’t need to demolish a building to be successful. It doesn’t need acres of blacktop in front of it. It doesn’t need to alter the streetscape. It fits right in with the city and people come from all over to be there. And they aren’t afraid, and they don’t complain about having to walk a few blocks from their parking spot to get there. (They gotta do something to burn off the calories they’re about to eat!) This is what a real city is about.
But, sadly, Mayor Driscoll is singing the old last-century tune that has ruined much of Syracuse (and the fabric of countless cities across the country): demolish, demolish, demolish. Pave paradise, put up another drug store, and… you won’t know what city you’re in any more. And you certainly won’t have economic development, because your money will be siphoned off to the coffers of a big corporation in another state.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again:
- Mayor Driscoll has been talking out of both sides of his mouth.
- There IS a developer who can take the existing Wittigs Ice Cream / Steak & Sundae building and turn it into something great.
- And the Dinosaur Barbecue is just the type of destination we can have in Eastwood if we’ll just stick to our standards.
How difficult is that?
Keep up the good work Sean! We need you!