And that is why I found myself nearly crying in my coffee today at The Anchorage. Scott and I took Owen for one last Saturday morning Syrup Side Special before they close for good this coming Tuesday. I started going to The Anchorage before we even moved to Homewood 10 years ago, and Scott has been a Friday regular for years, meeting up with the guys to share prayer requests and flirt with the feisty Linda (chase the link above for any necessary clarifications). I thought we'd be taking Owen there for Saturday pancakes and then on to the toy store next door all the way into his elementary years.
And sorry as I feel for myself, the years we've put in at The Anchorage are piddly compared to many of the regulars. The booth next to us this morning held parents and their two grown sons. When it was time to leave, the dad walked to the register and paid, and then he fished a camera from his pocket and turned back for a picture of the place. And there was the lady in her 80s sitting alone at the table behind us. She grabbed the owner as he walked by and told him with a quaver, "Sure gonna miss this place." It was a pitiful scene, I tell you!
Why are they closing? A wealthy guy in Sarasota, Florida who owns the building refused to renew their lease. Poof! A beloved restaurant that has run successfully for 67 years...gone. People who have cooked and served there for decades are out of a job. Sure, business is business, and everyone loves to claim their capitalist right to turn a buck. So why should a guy in Sarasota have considered what a little mom and pop place meant to Homewood, Alabama?
My answer is empty of economic sense and full of naivety. Because it would have been the right thing to do.