Dear Circa 33,
I wandered in last Saturday during happy hour with my girlfriend to get a drink. The space was nicely lit (though it was dimmed a little soon for my tastes) and felt open and comfortable. Service was nice and our drinks were brought promptly. Beer was solid, the mixed drink also tasty. Prices seemed fair and I looked forward to coming to get a hamburger or some mac & cheese in the near future. There was an admirable selection of beers to choose from, with different styles represented all of solid-to-better quality, with the usual outs for the non-quality-brewing appreciation crowd.
There were a couple guys playing backgammon and a group of women visiting opposite us, taking over a larger table. There appeared to be ample space for peoplewatching along Belmont, with the big windows and some nice lighting from the ceiling.
I was looking forward to coming back.
Then a man in a white van, wearing a puffy blue winter jacket, pulled up. The door was opened and from the van came two 52 inch HDTVs, which were unceremoniously dragged into the back, like giant electronic carcasses.
Please don’t put these televisions up. The neighborhood already has a TV-infested bar and there’s a seriously space challenged Alto Lounge (where you never know when a waiter’s butt will be in your face) that people will gladly flee to be somewhere more comfortable except…you’ll basically be ruining the ambiance of the place. Everyone will have to talk louder to be heard over sound and visual noise. Distractions will ruin everything you have going for you. Guys won’t come in to play backgammon (or Magic, in my case.) Women won’t come in to catch up. For what you’ll really be adding, you might as well install a phone booth. That’s about how useful the TVs are to a space like yours.
If you want to add something cool and increase value, give us free WiFi. All the glories of being able to access television, without the horrible obtrusiveness.
PS: I’ll be gone for the holiday so no post for Friday. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!