Here's my extended take on the situation involving Market Square at the moment. I don't care if you're murdering babies, as long as you are enthusiastically supporting the art and culture in your community. This, from my humble observations is precisely what the Wests are all about. I don't know them, but I know what they've done for this town. I desperately want to believe my edumacated friends when they say there's a snowball's chance in hell the businesses will be dismantled if they're seized. BUT....
Sitting in Preservation Pub last night, my thoughts kept drifting back to the Mercury Theatre, mainly because if you look hard enough with the right kind of eyes, you can still see some of it in the Pub today. I loved "the Merc" when I was a confused high school theatre geek and all the older guys I hung out with went there. I spent almost every Sunday night there, even though most of the time we just sat outside because even though women got in free that night, the guys I was with were too poor to pay the cover. When we did get in, I'd play foosball and steal sips of beer, and dance to Blondie's "Heart of Glass." That was all I needed at the time. I was so sad when it closed down.
Imagine my surprise then, when several years later I went to the still ghost-town like Market Square with some friends to "this great new place" and I was about 3/4 of the way into my beer when I realized where I was. I was at the Mercury. It was all earth toned, and the beer selection way better, and instead of a punk band there was some chick with a guitar and a long flowy skirt. But the bones were there. It was disconcerting how much a place could change, but I loved the new incarnation. It was just what I wanted in a bar at the time.
Now, whenever I go to the Pub (rarely) I'm put off by how loud or crowded it is. I've reached that stodgy age where, while I still love live music, more often I just want to have a few drinks and actually hear what my friends are saying. Lame, I know.
So, maybe it's time for the place to undergo another change. Who knows what it could be next? Maybe I'm destined to hang out in that space for the rest of my life, each new phase I enter concurrent with it's newest incarnation. In an effort to be positive, this is what I've come up with.
But, knowing my luck, Connor Concepts will get it and turn it into yet another damn Aubrey's.
On a related note, I was not in love with the new menu at Oodles. Bruce Bogartz is in the kitchen now, and he seemed nonplussed by all the happenings. He said he's planning to open the place for Brunch in August without so much a hint of reservation.
As for The Grotto. Well. If you can't say anything nice....
Regardless of the outcome, I hope the Wests come out alright. They seem like good people. The only crime I find them guilty of is trying to make this town a better place. I'd hate to see them punished for that.