Thursday, January 24, 2013

Affluent and influential urban audience chortles as Eater Wonka savages indie restaurant.

Seemingly every water cooler conversation in Louisville continues to be dominated by the closing of Lynn’s Paradise Café, but surely the shelf life’s end draws mercifully near on that thread, requiring the foodie cognoscenti to search for a new target.

And the lucky winner is Taco Punk, a year-old NuLu eatery, at least if we’re to judge by the acrimonious attention being paid it at a web site of recent vintage called Eater Louisville. Eater is a food and dining news aggregator, now incorporating some original content, and currently all of its barrels are firing at Taco Punk.

You may be wondering why. Has Taco Punk poisoned customers, mistreated servers, refused to honor discount dining coupons or forgotten to advertise at Eater Louisville?

Well, no, not exactly.

Rather, Taco Punk is guilty of the unpardonable sin of crowd sourcing at Kickstarter, and for this breach of commercial etiquette (get that, Edna, there’s roolz in commerce now), Eater Louisville now harnesses its inner Wonka, snidely suggesting that Taco Punk’s contributors will be subsidizing $10 taco platters and fluffing a business owner who won’t go borrow money the old-fashioned, interest-accrued way. Like Hassan.

As someone also in the food and drink business, who currently is servicing about a million dollars more in loans than Hassan, perhaps it would be easy for me to cop a derisory attitude, jerk my knee, and join Eater Wonka in mocking Taco Punk, but you know what? There’s no reason to do so, whether on my part as a restaurant owner, or of a restaurant critic’s, or on the part of restaurant patrons, who do not have one of this nation’s over-abundance of guns pointed at their heads lest they refuse to contribute to Taco Punk, eat at Taco Punk, or even think about Taco Punk when the Eater Wonka avatar appears on their Twitter feed.

Taco Punk will sink, or it will swim. Give Taco Punk money if you want, or eat there more often (I haven’t been once, and I don’t know the owner), or do nothing at all. The free market will take care of this whole situation, won’t it?

Yes, it will, so tell me: What’s the big deal, anyway?

(The subject heading refers to this, publisher of the national chain Eater franchise)

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