There are about a billion comments on the recent post, Petition Started to Stop Wendy's. I read some (okay, maybe all) of them, and I've gathered some sort of opinion . . . but I've started by collecting the topics and writing a little blurb under each one with my humble opinion.
Family owned, small businesses are not catering to ... fast!
We are very busy and quite frankly, we sometimes rely on fast food. If Roxborough businesses want to keep up with the times, they need to make a fast food restaurant. Stopping to eat at a restaurant on Ridge Ave requires parking, paying the meter, sitting down, etc. So maybe local stomachs would benefit from a Wendy's? No one is stopping a family owned drive thru business, but until then . . . !
Other chain-based food establishments aren't hated
Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts? Maybe we're all in love with coffee (addicted). Oh, and Subway. No objections?
If you don't like it, want it, etc., don't eat here!
Plain and simple.
Gangs of kids will hang out at Wendy's
Honestly, I'd rather have the kids hang out INSIDE rather than in the middle of Ridge Ave as they kind of do now. Another argument is that these kids will start fighting each other. Wow. And I almost feel a racist ring to this argument. Yes, Manayunk/Rox is predominently white. African American kids will hang out here and it's a problem? But anyway, when I was a teen, I hung out at Wendy's after school, grabbed a Frosty and I never fought anyone. No big deal. 15th and Chestnut crowd is not the Roxborough crowd. You don't see other Roxborough fast food restaurants looking like that ever. And seriously, if there is an issue with these kids, maybe try talking to them and help the situation. Hands on solution. I know, it's almost as crazy as standing outside of a Wendy's with a sign, screaming for justice!
Historical building ripped down for THIS?
I totally can jump on this argument. How could this building not be rented to tenants? Or a doctor's office? Why was it totally destroyed? Honestly, I don't get it. If it was historical, was it not protected by some government thing-a-ma-bob? Must have not been historic enough. Arguing for its destruction is more important, not necessarily what goes in its place. Here is more information on the demolition.
Neighborhood around Wendy's
This is a good argument against Wendy's, which is sometimes open very late and can include car traffic. However, whenever I go get fast food at 10PM-Midnight, there's hardly anyone there. Personally, I'd be a little... pissed if my next door neighbor was now Wendy's. But I would know that living near Ridge Ave, a busy road, would make this possible. Plus, Roxborough is still "the city" and cities typically grow. The "get off my yard" mentality doesn't work too well in the city because we kind of share yards! If you believe people are evil and hate being social, you just may be against this, too. And home prices going up or down? I think this depends. Some home buyers may LOVE that they can get food all the time. Some may hate it.
Wawa has a lot of people in the lot ALL THE TIME. Starbucks, yes. All the other businesses -- yes! Would Wendy's really get that much more? I suppose a big parking lot with long drive through would help the threat of traffic. I really don't see this as being the best argument against Wendy's.
Just because there is a Wendy's, doesn't mean you have to eat here. "THE HEALTH WILL BE DESTROYED IN THE COMMUNITY." Take control of your own life if you care about your health. Most people can guess that a Baconator and fries is bad for you. And it's not like Wendy's doesn't have chili, potatoes and salad. Do you need a nanny to look after you 24/7 and make sure that you don't eat crap? You make decisions, no one else. Don't shift blame.
If you want more small businesses and healthy options, make it so
So, there are not enough healthy places to eat and Wendy's is going to destroy small businesses. There are plenty of empty stores and real estate available up Ridge Ave. Maybe some of these petitioners should start their own business? I don't know, just a thought. I saw this in the comments, "i would love a restaurant, a coffeeshop, a bookstore, an nonprofit community group, a co-working space for the community, etc. but i do not want a 24 hour fast food chain." Then make it. Or start going to ALL of these things that already exist in Roxborough.
This location should have been X, Y, and Z
Okay! Great, it should have been, could have been . . . but it's not. As I've said, there are still plenty of locations for X, Y and Z. Who are you demanding make these things? I'm frustrated that all of my tax dollars are going to war and corruption, maybe they could go towards these things . . .
Wendy's will help bring more people to other places on Ridge
Sure, I can see this argument. A lot of people don't come to the area and Wendy's is something familiar that may cause them to drive by and pass other businesses.
Roxborough is not Chestnut Hill, but kind of is...
Chestnut Hill has a Starbucks, McDonalds . . . and the world hasn't ended! I think Rox should use CH as an example. One or two fast food chains will not kill "the heart of the beast." I call it a beast because the people and business owners of Roxborough are intense! Perhaps "fighting" for making the Wendy's decor "classy" and petition for a very clean, litter free outside and inside would be better than protesting its existence.
Wendy's was a small business
Certain businesses go out of business because there is no more need for them. People just don't want to spend their money there. But Wendy's was not one of these "out of business" places that Rox's residents cry out for in nostalgia. Wendy's started small and got big. Crippling their success should make any small business owner wonder, "If I get big, will this happen to me?" Remind Wendy's managers at the new location that they used to be a small business that respected the neighborhood. Demand a bulletin board of local events. Demand that they support the health of the community!
And that's that. In my research, I also found that a Planet Fitness is opening nearby? Hopefully to counter the weight gain caused by lack of self control combined with a deadly fast food restaurant! Very little objection to this chain. What about all the other non-chain gyms? The horror! (I did promise my humble opinion, right?)
In conclusion, I do agree that there is a culture that must be respected in the area, but this does not mean remaining in the stone age. Small businesses must keep up with what is popular in order to be successful. I do have curiosity towards any effects to the neighborhood, but I do not foresee the worst. If the students are a problem, they will be, with or without a Wendy's. And if you don't like it, don't eat it. If it's bad for you, you still don't have to eat it. And lastly, put your money where your mouth (Baconator, ha) is. If you want things, make them happen by empowering yourself and not just complaining on Patch.