Monday, March 26, 2007

Tabor Hill Cafe: Life On Hawthorne

When last I visited the subject of the Tabor Hill Cafe it was around 10 days ago. The sidewalk was torn up on a Thursday and on Friday the orange barricades were up with a dirt path to the door. Then it sat with no apparent work for a full week, at which time someone did a little more on the edging. The workers were there on Monday, today, preparing the ground for the pour.

My first post about this was critical of city hall for not having a more timely process. Today I walked by and the place was empty, except for the restaurant owner sitting down having a bite with two others. You can get in, but it doesn't look like you can from the other side of the street so business has suffered.

I know these things take time, but there shouldn't be a down week off where everything just sits there. It's hurting businesses on Hawthorne and it's just not fair. City planners would do this differently if their livelihoods were on the line. I originally was going to do a day by day pictorial of all this but I could have put the pictures from Day 2, a week later. Nothing changed for a whole week.

This is not the Baghdad Theater, where interestingly the barriers were pushed aside earlier and an improvised path through the site was formed. The Baghdad Theater is not going to go under based on these 10 days. But what about the small business owner? This guy at the Tabor Hill Cafe is working his ass off to make it in a tough competitive restaurant environment and the city is threatening his chances of making it. Even when this is done, his momentum could take a while to return.

I wonder if any of the city planners who threw this together work these hours. This is the guy's schedule: 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. 7 days a week, except for Friday night where he often stays till midnight.
That's right: 7 days a week, every week. It's a vision of the old American Dream when the immigrants first moved here. Incidentally, he came through the Cambodian Killing Fields so he still says this is nothing, but still....Are these the people we want to screw over in this city? The hardest working among us? I'd like to see the city planners try to keep those hours for a couple of weeks and then have some outside force put a hurt on their chances of making a living. It ain't right, and worse than that, it's wrong.


At 1:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmm... have you contacted the project manager to find out what's up? here's the info from the project website:

"Contact Us
If you have questions about the Hawthorne Boulevard Project, contact: Jean Senechal Biggs, Project Manager at (503) 823-7211 or by e-mail at:"

also, from the news section : "We've found a couple of drainage problems with our new sidewalks that we need to address before we can leave the 30s. The first is a puddle at the NW corner at 34th Ave so the crews will be coming back to rebuild the driveway at India 4U. The second is a puddle on SE 38th Ave next to the new curb and we'll be installing a new inlet here to connect to the sewer."

sounds like it might be just an unfortunate coincidence, rather than the lethargic hand of bureaucracy.

how's the food there, anyway? maybe after the work is done, the sidewalk will be big enough there for outdoor seating.

At 4:41 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Thanks for your comment. I saw the puddle on 38th yesterday so this is very timely.
The last post about this led to a restaurant review so let me just say the current owner of the business has been there 12 years so whatever he's doing is working so far.
Look, I watched them repave 39th and it was magnificent. The timing etc...was brilliant because it had to be. This could have been like that, but I guess it didn't have to be so it wasn't. The only ones getting hurt were the businesses on Hawthorne so why should city planners worry about that?

At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, good on you for getting people to notice where local businesses might be negatively affected, where was the review published? i guess i just don't necessarily agree that this is about city planners not caring enough. i live in the neighborhood, and i get neighborhood newsletters; the last one said their had been a couple delays pouring concrete because of rain, and that the contractors would be working on weekends to make up those lost days.

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