Parking Nazi’s and Failed Restaurants
There are a lot more important things to be writing about right now, but this happened to catch my attention. As I was walking through Lindbergh Station I had noticed that Bobby G’s had closed. Now I was never a fanatic about this place, but they made a decent slice of pizza, and it was convenient. On the flip side, they were a bit pricey and all of their food wasn’t that great. Regardless I was a little disappointed to see it closed, which spawned me to get on the Googles and find out why.
Now normally a restaurant closing wouldn’t have much to do with a blog on transit and MARTA, but never underestimate the power of a moron and their ability to link something they don’t like to their own personal failures. This awful “article” has done exactly that. The former owner’s main complaints were that it was because of MARTA and the charge for parking that there wasn’t a sustainable amount of business. He went even further out onto the limb of stupidity when he put blame on the supposed neighboring Section 8 housing. After reading this I tried to breathe deeply as to not allow my head to burst from frustration, but then I made the mistake of scrolling down to the comments section. What was said here could provide months of blog postings. But I won’t, and will just focus on the ignorance of Glenn Kaas, the owner of the now defunct restaurant.
While who owns and operates all of the parking decks can get a little muddy with the developer, the management, and who leases the property it really plays no role whatsoever in the failure of Bobby G’s. Lindbergh Center Station was conceived, designed, and built as a TOD. From an urban design point of view, it is lacking in certain aspects, but unfortunately the nuisances that make some of these developments struggle are misinterpreted market forces that everyone seems to be afraid to stray from. Regardless, it makes perfect sense to charge for parking given the development’s premise and the ease of access to mass transit. It is done to discourage drivers. Similarly to the way Seattle raised their parking fees to encourage people to use mass transit. (Sure didn’t see a mass exodus of businesses from that) This is something that Mr. Kaas should have been well aware of when establishing his restaurant. Furthermore, the decks offer validation to restaurant clients allowing them to park for free. But damn that MARTA, damn it all to hell for helping to create an environment that discourages the use of an automobile.
Maybe Mr. Kaas’ claim would carry some credibility if it wasn’t for the fact that Chili’s, Texas Longhorn, Taco Mac, Five Guys, Sip, Jersey Mike’s, Urban Flats and Willies Mexicana are located within 100 yards of Bobby G’s. Now I am not the biggest fan of chain restaurants, but being that there is such a high concentration of eateries here, it might be (and when I say might be I mean definitely) that the market is oversaturated. Throw in the retail places across Piedmont with their restaurants, and a few fast food places along Piedmont as well, it is just a matter of time before the less popular establishments start dropping off. Especially in this economic environment.
Mr. Kaas also blamed the presence of Section 8 housing. This statement offered validity to my assumption that this guy is just pissed because his business didn’t make it. The neighboring apartments at one point did allow Section 8 but began a transition away from it. Regardless it did not force any of the other businesses to close.
The long and short of it is that Bobby G’s failed because it couldn’t capture a dedicated audience. And given the concentration of office workers, AT&T and MARTA, as well as foot traffic, it is hard to believe that its failure was for anything otherwise. Mr. Kaas, and the website who published the article, should be ashamed of spreading such blatant misinformation, further playing into so many people’s misconceptions of mass transit and MARTA, further displayed by their comment board. But then again, being that That’s MARTA already had to take this bloggers ignorant ass to task before, I shouldn’t expect too much. I just hope they remembered to renew their subscriptions to the AJC.