Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Off the Beaten Path

Having a bad case of the Mondays. On a Tuesday. Plenty of ideas swirling but none of them will hold still long enough to be written about.

Let’s try this on for size: does anyone know the history of the Lark Brown Restaurant Park? It exists in that mythical place I like to call “the other side of town”, so we don’t go there often. At the entrance there is a cluster of permanent “flags” that have such a decidedly dated feel that I have often thought one risks going back in time merely by turning down that road. I Googled them to find a photo, but no luck so far.

Unpopular benign opinion: the Lark Brown Flags are a local landmark.

We found ourselves looking for a place to eat dinner last night while “on the other side of town” and ended up at TGI Friday’s. It’s at the end of the road. We passed a now-deduct Exxon station, a McDonalds, Olive Garden, Bob Evans, and the ever-popular Royal Taj to get there. It is kind of wonderfully subversive to have a true local mom and pop restaurant in there amongst all the chains.

There’s also some kind of apartments or perhaps an extended stay hotel? Back when my daughter was little I used to wish that they’d build a playground in that space, because nothing screams playground more than antsy young children in restaurants. However, playgrounds do not generate revenue so something else was built there instead.


This was my first visit to this particular TGI Friday’s and I was stuck by how huge this space is and how few people were there. Of course, Monday night isn’t exactly prime dining-out time, but this place seems to have been built with the idea that it was going to be the only restaurant in town. It’s enormous. You could have a blog party and a political announcement event there and still have space for walk-in dining.

It made me feel a bit sad. It was like being in a church with declining attendance. I wondered if there was such as thing as Friday’s in its heyday when every room was buzzing with activity. Or maybe it’s still like that on Friday nights and I was just there on the wrong night. But, all in all, it felt like a
cathedral to something that didn’t exist anymore. Just like the ever-perky “flags” at the Lark Brown Restaurant Park entrance.

Dear readers who have lived here longer than I, please share your knowledge of the Lark Brown Restaurant Park. I’d love to know more.

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