Letter to The Toledo Blade
Your March 18th Headline “Trio of closings indicate area diners losing appetite for finer restaurants” was appalling and irresponsible. The restaurant business is one of the most difficult to succeed in. We all know that the failure rates are very high, even for established places. But to declare that Toledoans don’t enjoy Fine Dining may be a self-fulfilling prophecy. I know I can always trust Chicken Little, er, The Blade, to make a snap judgment over something slightly more nuanced than they care to report. The fact is, Fine Dining in America today looks different than it did 10-20 years ago. Restaurants can fail for a multitude of reasons, including: failure to update menus or décor for a long period of time, mediocrity at any level, better competition taking their business away, as well as the laundry list of operational headaches. Fine Dining is not limited to tuxedoed waiters anymore, and those type of establishments are going out of business is every city. What you failed to mention is the thriving successes of places such as Cohen & Cooke all the way down in Bowling Green, the re-emergence of Diva, and the explosive opening of Mancy’s Blue Water. All of whom have eclectic food beyond steaks (please take note Mr. Favorite). Toledoans spend too much money and time at generic chain restaurants. It’s actually criminal how much they support the rampant mediocrity of chains, but the smoking ban is an excuse. If your business is down, it’s because you are relying on your bar crowd too heavily, it’s time to adapt and utilize the skills that made you want to open a fine dining restaurant in the first place. Most cities are judged by their restaurant scene, why does the Blade feel the need to be the first to dismantle ours?