Flags a’ Flying

Few things excite me more than the news of a restaurant opening, particularly if it’s in our neighborhood or very close by. I love the anticipation of seeing the storefront change day-by-day, of reading blurbs about the chef and restaurant concept on blogs or in magazines or taped haphazardly to a front window. I love wondering what the food will be like and whether it will become a favorite spot and I love when it finally opens and I get to pour over reviews before The Dude and I get to try it for ourselves.

The Dude just wants them to take down their damn grand opening flags.

There is a restaurant in our neighborhood that has been open since 2012 and their grand opening  flags are still flying. I got a flyer from them the other day, in fact, that advertised a “Grand Opening Special!”. Whenever we drive by, The Dude squints and grimaces at the flags. He hates them.

He also hates the huge “Grand Opening!” banner on a Little Caesar’s that’s on our way into the city and has been opening grandly almost as long as our neighborhood joint. I think he’s actually shaken his fist at that one.

A part of me agrees with him, agrees that there should be a limit on how long restaurants can advertise themselves as new. But, another part of me feels bad for those restaurants. If they were as successful as they wanted to be, would they still feel the need to fall back on novelty?

I imagine conversations between the “new” restaurants and the old, successful ones to go something like this:

Flag Flutterer: But, I want everyone to notice me! Look, I’m new and shiny and have things flapping around everywhere.

Old Standby: Ah, but they know me. They know how delicious I am.

Flag Flutterer: But, I’m good, too!

Old Standby: But, I’m better.

Flag Flutterer: I’m just as good as you are.

Old Standby: Hah. You have to wave things in front of their faces to get them to notice you. They just remember me.

Flag Flutterer: I’m just as good as you are. I AM.

Old Standby: Hah. Prove it. Take down your flags.

Flag Flutterer: But, I’m new and shiny…

The Dude hates those flags: “Leave them up 1 month, maybe 2,” he says. “This is crazy. We can’t ever eat there. I hate those stupid flags.”

And, we haven’t eaten there, not at any of those places. I don’t think we will.


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