Commentary on the Wendy's fiasco

A post listing the arguments for and against Wendy's and some option from the author to go with it!

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.  

Traffic, AH!

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.  

Health aspect

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.   

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

roxkb February 28, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Is anyone else concerned that this could lead to more manayunk drunks driving to ridge and roxborough avenue to get food late at night? i mean, besides the manayunk diner, where else is there to get food late at night after drinking? having almost been flat run over by a drunk driver in 2005, i am extra sensitive to anything that will could potentially increase the presence of drunk drivers right by my house.
Debbie Thomas February 28, 2013 at 02:46 PM
Michael's Pizza on Main Street is open until early morning hours, as is Right Off Main on Leverington just above Main. There are probably others that stay open late as well.
Caren Kelly February 28, 2013 at 03:21 PM
Stacy, thanks for bringing some sanity to the recent posts/arguments. I thought you gave a very objective opinion and actually offered some solutions.
Maureen February 28, 2013 at 03:24 PM
Even though I'm not for a Wendy's on this corner, I can see your perspective. I'm both nervous and excited to see what happens and how it actually affects the surrounding area (where I currently reside). The fear of the unknown is quite powerful. For now we do what we can to promote against or support and whatever the outcome -make sure we, as residents, continue to be a respectable symbol of the residents/visitors of the community.
Smooch February 28, 2013 at 03:30 PM
"If you don't like it, want it, etc., don't eat here! Plain and simple." This attitude promotes complacency - and the community absolutely has a right to demand quality development that works for the neighborhood.
roxkb February 28, 2013 at 03:42 PM
Thanks Debbie - We're pretty boring and aren't out late on Main, so I have no idea what's open at that time.
Andrea A. February 28, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Well said SweetRoxy. Our city is trying to make its citizens healthier and more active by granting them access to healthier food options where there haven't been any, and this is counterproductive to these efforts. It is also counterproductive to the positive growth that the Roxborough neighborhood has seen in the past few years. I see this pulling down property values, increasing crime and litter, and pushing prospective buyers and investors to go elsewhere.
Debbie Thomas February 28, 2013 at 05:57 PM
I agree.
Stacy Litz February 28, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Great points! It would make the most sense in my mind if the locals were polled to determine if the Wendy's "should be" allowed. Because of the direct effects on your property, life, etc.
Stacy Litz February 28, 2013 at 08:10 PM
I agree another fast food place isn't necessary at all. It's never! I would have loved a farmer's market or Produce Junction type deal here. But in the world we live in, property can be bought and used like this . . . permits approved to build without consulting local residents? I guess! But I'm guessing if Wendy's was added near busy Ridge and Domino by Superfresh, it wouldn't be a big deal.
Stacy Litz February 28, 2013 at 08:13 PM
I'm just curious. I've seen additions and development all my life and usually life goes on. I'm more upset with the construction trucks and annoyance that will be there for quite sometime while they build. I checked out the lot today when I drove by and it is HUGE. Hopefully they'll space the Wendy's from the houses a good amount. I never run into insane traffic there and I am up and down Ridge 4-5 times a day for my job. I also drove past a classy Wendy's near Norristown and I hope this one models off of this one! Very clean and has a huge slogan about healthy food, eating right, etc.!
Stacy Litz February 28, 2013 at 08:16 PM
People say similar statements regarding people with differing political views from them, "If you don't like it, you can leave!" I do think that everything comes down to individual choice. But collectively, advocating against something that may hurt the community is awesome.
Stacy Litz February 28, 2013 at 08:21 PM
Sadly it seems as if Philadelphia's historical buildings as a whole are being torn down or gutted and made into fancy smancy apartments, eateries, hotels, etc. I support development for the better, for instance, if a building is so old and dilapidated that it is going to fall down. if the Bunting House was salvageable and repairable at an efficient cost, it probably should have been fixed that way. But I'm sure some quick equation was figured out and tearing the whole thing down and building a profitable, addicting and well-liked fast food restaurant turned out to be more profitable. So they're going to cheaply build a restaurant vs. using the brick and mortar structure that once was. Controversial to say the least!
Tom February 28, 2013 at 08:56 PM
Stacy, do you rent or own locally?
rich February 28, 2013 at 11:20 PM
Like 30+bars on main st manayunk ,now that's quality development..
Stacy Litz February 28, 2013 at 11:47 PM
Renting, I'm only 23, but I don't think that I'll ever want to own a home. Too many risks. Like a Wendy's becoming my neighbor.
roxboorughwendys March 01, 2013 at 12:52 AM
stacy there is also a page on facebook and it's called roxborough residents FOR wendy's......check it out it's a small number of people and growing who would LOVE to see a wendy's
Smooch March 01, 2013 at 01:44 PM
Rich, while no one is commenting on Main Street - I feel much safer walking down Main than I do down Ridge Ave at night...
Debbie Thomas March 01, 2013 at 01:51 PM
Sweet Roxy, I completely agree. I've walked down Main Street many times later at night and don't feel threatened or unsafe at all.
Roxboro Man March 07, 2013 at 07:33 PM
Can't we all just get along?
M. McDonald March 07, 2013 at 08:09 PM
I think a Wendy's would be great, and I don't care about an old house that was there. If someone wanted to live in the house, they could have bought it and lived in it. I patronize several businesses on Ridge Ave, and this Wendy's location will be joining that list as soon as it opens.
Debbie Thomas March 07, 2013 at 08:41 PM
There were several people that were interested in the property and someone even offered to buy it. Giavannone Construction wasn't interested. I guess because they already had fast food in mind way before the Bunting House was demolished.
Tom March 07, 2013 at 11:04 PM
I'm so sick and tired of people who are not directly affected by a Wendy's or any other type of "Fast Food" joint being built in "my" neighborhood near "my" home affecting "my" property values because you might want a hamburger from time to time. Try telling that to the residents who live directly behind the proposed site and will be affected by the trash and possibly the rats coming to eat at the dumpsters not to mention the homeless people that will gravitate to those dumpsters as well. The Wendy's you refer to in norristown is not within 1/2 mile of a residential area which exactly how it should be here or anywhere else when proposing these ideas. It was my understanding by what I read here that they intended to build residential homes on that site not sell it to the highest bidder.
Tom March 07, 2013 at 11:50 PM
I just read back on your 23 yr old thoughts and had to laugh. Everytime there is a conversation involving different ethnicities ( Gangs of kids will hang out at Wendy's) the "R" word gets thrown around because there is no other way to stop the truth from being said in a mixed nationality discussion. I will throw another "R" word out there and that word is REALITY, again its easy for you to condon Gangs of kids hanging out at wendy's when in fact Wendy's isnt going to appreciate that either. As for your "R" word argument I can honestly tell you to stick it where the sun don't shine honey. Try standing on Rifge ave any day school lets out, talk to already established businesses who have had to put up with this nonsense for far too many years already by all nationalities of unruly and ignorant children. So until you have Lived a bit longer and actually have seen neighborhoods change, I suggest your blog is useless.
Guy Incognito March 09, 2013 at 07:30 PM
That's exactly why I'm in support of this. After a long night of drinking, if I want to grab some greasy delicious fast food, I have to hike out to the Taco Bell or Wendy's on City Ave. and then drive home from there. Having this Wendy's closer allows me to drive a much shorter distance after drinking.
Stacy Litz March 12, 2013 at 03:02 AM
There are a lot of problems that need to be tackled rather than just Wendy's then. What causes these gangs of kids? Is it their parenting? Is it the teachers? We can swat at the branches all day, but it's time to strike the root. Also, insulting people is a great way to have a conversation.
RoxGuy March 12, 2013 at 01:44 PM
Sweetie, do you wanna eliminate gangs and bad parenting? Be my guest. Heal the planet. But the residents/homeowners of this town have an OBLIGATION (grown-up people word) to pick and choose their battles as they relate to themselves, their families and their property.
Peony March 21, 2013 at 02:57 AM
Read this and don't let your guard down. FIRST ON FOX: New Round Of Taser Robberies In Manayunk And Roxborough http://www.myfoxphilly.com/story/21749177/first-on-f
Feudi Pandola March 27, 2013 at 12:22 AM
This post came from Curtis Jones office in September 2012. Supposedly, nobody knew about this demolition...yeah right. We might be dumb, but we AIN'T stupid. Hi everybody, I just wanted to give a quick update on this property. To be clear, Councilman Jones and our office had no knowledge of the demolition permit. L&I doesnt not make us aware of every permit that is applied for by residents. I have been in contact with L&I with the hopes of having the permit revoked. I am waiting to hear back from them. Furthermore, I spoke to the developer. He claims the property is structurally unsound and that he does not have the financial resources to fix it. I have heard from numerous people today and yesterday. Feel free to contact me if you have further concerns. Regards, Josh Cohen Office of Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. (215) 686-3416 (City Hall) (215) 685-2547 (Roxborough office)
Feudi Pandola March 27, 2013 at 12:29 AM
I live two blocks up on Magdalena. Last thing we need is a Wendy's on this corner. I would love to see inward facing townhouses as they have on Upper Ridge. That adds to everyone's home values far more than a fast food joint on very a congested Ridge Avenue. The politicians ramrodded this thing through with no public hearings based on the letter from Curtis Jones office. I don't believe much of what any politician says. Hell, Somebody had to know.


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