What's even the point?

by Jon Sullivan - 2022-01-24 - Stories

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The reason to move to North Park was to have a local to walk to that was world class in food and craft beer. We've lost so many.

The plan was simple. Do some walkies around North Park and see what the aftermath has been from a couple years of Covid and lockdown. So I did that. It's not the same. Sure, the hipster beard and beer vibe is still strong. There's still a tattoo shop on every block. Some favorites are still here. But many aren't. It used to be the best neighborhood on the planet for great craft beer. Not so much anymore. The vibe now seems trendy now.

Ritual Tavern, Coronado, Tiger Tiger, Waypoint Public were the big four. The best four. BLAH is open but still not doing lunch. We lost many more, but those were my go to places, and the literal reason I moved here. Tiger Tiger was about the best bar I can imagine. Losing it was something I'm not sure I ever got over. I kept waiting for them to announce a reopening. But now a sushi place is moving into the old space.

My days as an alcoholic are long past. Even so I'll still enjoy a beer now and then. But what is the point of having a "local" you can walk to if you aren't going to get too drunk to drive? Is North Park even still worth it? Would some other area suit me better? I really don't know. Lockdown has changed what I even need and want from a neighborhood. What even is my "local" now? I need to find out.

One problem is that lockdown meant restaurants packed as many tables out on the sidewalk as they could. Now you have bottlenecks where the effective sidewalk is only a couple feet wide. North Park has always been a place you walk around. So crowded sidewalks aren't good. It was nice to see so many of my kinda people, masked while walking around. I was in the mood for new stuff. But good to see Nomad, NP Beer Co, City Tacos, etc still making it.

I decided to head to a new place. It seemed like a strong contender on the website. Interesting brunch menu. Great looking photos. Chef had the required street cred.

It was good. But just good. The food was Instagram style. Looks great, tastes average. Nothing I would try again. Look.... I know it's a hard time and it's been a hard time for years now. I'm sure a restaurant career in 2022 has to be a really hard choice to commit to. I should appreciate places staying open at all, and I do. But I live here for incredible food, not clever food.

So is North park even the place for me any more? Post drunkard. Post Covid. What do I need in a local? Need to think on it.

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