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Old 08-10-2010, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Hernando County, FL
8,489 posts, read 11,201,644 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garmin239 View Post
I'd say it's very true for newly developed areas. If it were not true, how come I have to look for independents? I don't have to do this in other areas of the country. And how come when ever I go to these places, the people living there will make comments on the abundance of chain places when asked about restaurants?
When I travel around the south I mostly take road trips and have no problem eating at independents.

The link I posted was a search for restaurants in Charlotte and out of 30, on the first page, 27 look to be independents to me. There may be a few small chains I am unfamiliar with but it still seems to have plenty of independents.

Are there chain restaurants, of course, but to say you can't find any independents is ridiculous.

 
Old 08-10-2010, 07:22 AM
 
3,235 posts, read 5,085,199 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Peterson View Post
When I travel around the south I mostly take road trips and have no problem eating at independents.

The link I posted was a search for restaurants in Charlotte and out of 30, on the first page, 27 look to be independents to me. There may be a few small chains I am unfamiliar with but it still seems to have plenty of independents.

Are there chain restaurants, of course, but to say you can't find any independents is ridiculous.
I never said I couldn't find any independents. I said I had to look for them. Big difference. When I get into larger cities like Charlotte, I shouldn't have to look for them.
 
Old 08-10-2010, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Hernando County, FL
8,489 posts, read 11,201,644 times
Reputation: 5397
Quote:
Originally Posted by garmin239 View Post
I never said I couldn't find any independents. I said I had to look for them. Big difference. When I get into larger cities like Charlotte, I shouldn't have to look for them.
Of course most independents are not going to have the big signs that in most cases the chains are required to have according to their franchise agreements but I seem to have no problem driving down a road and seeing independents.

I just typed in Charlotte, NC in google maps and zoomed in to what I assume would be the center of the city. I went to street view and went down Tryon and the first eatery one way was Phil's NY Deli, the other way was Chima Steakhouse. Those don't sound like chains. Yes the first restaurant on the other street was a Hooters but right there in the center of the city you have 2 out of the 1st 3 I found were independents. I am sure it is not that hard for people that are actually looking to find them.
 
Old 08-10-2010, 08:16 AM
 
Location: East Passyunk
2,689 posts, read 2,225,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowBat View Post
I live in VA which is below the mason dixon, and there is no shortage or fear of locally owned restaurants. I have always preferred the locals, even long before I ever knew they were preferred over the chains. The only reason I would go to a chain is because of the consistency of knowing what's on the menu before I even get there.

On the flip side, you make it sound as if chains don't exist north of the mason dixon. Trust me, I go up north frequently and notice that they have more than their fair share of chains. Heck, last time I was in NYC there was a TGI Fridays on every other block! Good grief. It's not that polarized! People will try to use anything to categorize and separate regions.
Agreed. I live in Richmond, VA, and there are tons of locally owned places in the city. Most people I hang-out with like local, hole-in-the-wall places over chains any day, so I don't think it's a regional thing.

To be honest, I think more people that live outside the city tend to go to chains more frequently than city-dwellers (and I'm not talking about tourists). This may just be my experience, but most of the people I work with (who live rural/the burbs) love to go to sh***y places like California Pizza Kitchen....terrible.
 
Old 08-10-2010, 08:28 AM
 
3,235 posts, read 5,085,199 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Peterson View Post
Of course most independents are not going to have the big signs that in most cases the chains are required to have according to their franchise agreements but I seem to have no problem driving down a road and seeing independents.

I just typed in Charlotte, NC in google maps and zoomed in to what I assume would be the center of the city. I went to street view and went down Tryon and the first eatery one way was Phil's NY Deli, the other way was Chima Steakhouse. Those don't sound like chains. Yes the first restaurant on the other street was a Hooters but right there in the center of the city you have 2 out of the 1st 3 I found were independents. I am sure it is not that hard for people that are actually looking to find them.
Next time you are in Charlotte drive around random neighborhoods and you'll see what I'm talking about. Charlotte has over a half a million people so I'm sure you can find plenty of non chains in the area. But in the overall picture, a city like that has far too many chains in the city limits and they outshine the independents. If I go to a place like Boston, I can throw a rock in any direction and hit an independent restaurant in any neighborhood. I can not do that in Charlotte. I have to look.
 
Old 08-10-2010, 08:46 AM
 
10,081 posts, read 14,687,777 times
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Maybe Charlotte is an oddity; never been there, so can't comment on that. But I have lived and traveled in the South, and have never had the problem of not being able to easily find a good independent place.

And as far as the "newly developed" conversation, does that mean newly developed, as in new malls or suburbs? It's true that many times new development like that does get mostly chains, as the leasing agents go the easy route and try to get a national name, rather than take a risk on a new local place. There are also lots of issues like funding, that sort of thing. But it's funny to me that "newly developed" is being depicted as a Southern thing, as I associate the South with being such an older place! I think this all depends on where specifically you're living, but doesn't break down along any regional lines. If you go to new suburbs in the North you'll find lots of Paneras and Applebees and whatever, too.
 
Old 08-10-2010, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in the universe
2,161 posts, read 2,432,869 times
Reputation: 1370
I even prefer local chains over national chains. Independent restaurants are much better. Especially if they're a deli.
 
Old 08-10-2010, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Historic Downtown Jersey City
2,707 posts, read 4,947,406 times
Reputation: 1129
Quote:
Originally Posted by bchris02 View Post
A coworker of mine is relocating to northern New Jersey and he is frightened by the lack of chains and prevalence of locally-owned restaurants. Assuming he has lived in Charlotte his entire life I can understand why...because here, as with most of the south, the only locally-owned restaurants worth going to are high-priced trendy restaurants. The affordable local restaurants lack in quality so much that it is better to just go to a chain.

I am sure if more people in the south would support the local places they would become more prevalent as seen up north where there are plenty of high quality and affordable locally owned restaurants. It seems people are just afraid of non-chains. My roommate refers to them as "hole in the walls." Its the opposite up north where chains are looked down upon as lower quality and people prefer the local places. Any ideas why this is?
Haha, hilarious, if I was forced to move to the South I'd be terrified of the notion of eating out at nothing BUT chains.

It's a cultural thing. Chains are a way of life in the Midwest and in the South. Frankly it depresses the hell out of me when I have to travel to those places.

To be brutally honest, it's a big reason why Northerners perceive the South to be relatively culture-less.
 
Old 08-10-2010, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Historic Downtown Jersey City
2,707 posts, read 4,947,406 times
Reputation: 1129
Quote:
Originally Posted by lammius View Post
I understand that point but my philosophy is the exact opposite. When I'm in an area I'm not familiar with, I get excited about trying the local food there. I'll check yelp or another foodie website to get suggestions, or if I don't have the time to do that, just walk out and find something. Sometimes I'm disappointed (rarely), but more often than not I find something really good and I'm glad for the experience. It's like making a discovery.
I have the exact same mentality. Why spend time in a place if you're not going to sample the local culture?

I can't imagine for the life of me why somebody would go to a Chipotle, or a Denny's or something, when they are traveling -- you can get that garbage ANYWHERE in the US!

Me personally -- I avoid chains at all costs, almost as a rule. I disagree with the principle -- in my opinion chain restaurants are marketing companies, not food-serving companies. They are cold, sterile corporations. The only time I will go is if a large group has already made plans to go to somewhere chainy. Or, if a client of mine chooses a chain for a lunch or dinner, and I do not want to offend them by mocking their choice
 
Old 08-10-2010, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Hernando County, FL
8,489 posts, read 11,201,644 times
Reputation: 5397
Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyc_37 View Post
Haha, hilarious, if I was forced to move to the South I'd be terrified of the notion of eating out at nothing BUT chains.

It's a cultural thing. Chains are a way of life in the Midwest and in the South. Frankly it depresses the hell out of me when I have to travel to those places.

To be brutally honest, it's a big reason why Northerners perceive the South to be relatively culture-less.
And the random generalizations with no basis in truth are some of the reasons some southerners dislike some northerners.
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