Where Life Meets Lunch: Restaurants, the Economy, and Permanence

I know, Where Life Meets Lunch is my Sunday series, but BlogWellDone, Jr. had a surprise for all of us when he invited himself down to see Grandma WellDone which in turn necessitated that I drive an hour each way for a quick dinner.   Sort of like the $100 hamburger…without the airplane.

Anyway, here’s to playing catch up!

I don’t think it will come to anyone’s surprise that:

  • The economy isn’t doing so well
  • In turn, a lot of restaurants aren’t doing so well

And, of course, “isn’t doing so well” is a euphemism for we’re in a bad way.  Perhaps as bad as we’ve seen since the Great Depression.  Still, “isn’t doing so well” seems to induce less indigestion that the other term and will hopefully keep you in the mood to eat something.  I mean, this is a food blog after all.

Anyway, I’ve been relatively lucky.  Most of my friends have kept their jobs and those who haven’t have landed in better situations than when they started. 

Also, most of the places I like to frequent for food and drink aren’t out of business, either.  At least not yet.

I just have this distinct feeling that that is coming to an end.  I don’t want to name names or anything, but the last couple of times I’ve been to two of my favorite restauants have been downright depressing.  Where there used to be people waiting to get a table, people packed into seats, and patrons staying around to enjoy after dinner cocktails, now there are  only empty seats, empty glasses, and empty cash registers.

Even worse, if you really look, most restaurants are going about their business differently.  Portions are subtly smaller.  Where once salads came swimming in dressing, now they barely have any at all.  Rice bowls which used to be heaped to overflowing  are now filled only to level and more rice costs $1.50.  Even hot sauce is starting to cost money.

Sadly, the over-attentiveness of the wait staff, used to serving ten tables at once, is not a good thng when you’re the only full table in the section.

I wish I had a solution.  There’s one place in Kansas City in particular I am more than a little worried may not be around much longer.  This is the place where I celebrate my special occassions.  If I am on my deathbed tomorrow, my wife knows to go get me a meal from this place.  And tomorrow it may be gone.

All I can do is stand by and wait and hope that nothing happens to it.  I go there when I can, but the economy has affected my family just like it has affected everyone else’s.

So, yes, there is frustration in these words.  I wish I could do more.  But more importantly, there’s caution.  If there’s someplace you love to have a good meal, go there now.  While you can.

Nothing stays forever.  Especially not in a bad economy.


  1. I’m seriously worried about the deathbed dinner back up plan??

    In my new town (going on 9 months now) I hear you.. the restaurant selection was pretty poor to begin with, and worse is that even if I can afford a bit of fine dining.. I still end up at friggin applebees or god forbid.. sizzler (Ack!)…

    We try hard to hit up the mom and pop places here but one: don’t have time, two: have kids, three: don’t have as much money as we once did…

    Okay about the WordPress thing… I’m making effort to switch over… any suggestions for a hosting platform?

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