Our TGI Fridays closed over the weekend. The most recent time I can document I was in there was September 2008, and I see that I told the story then about the woman blowing me off by telling me she was a Mafia princess. (It worked.)
Folks who have moved from places much larger than Huntsville sometimes still laugh when I say this, but our metropolitan area, knocking on half a million people, is now supporting a great independent restaurant scene. It’s not large yet—as a friend of mine put it, that there is now one Persian restaurant is a far cry from having half a dozen from which to choose—but if there’s something you want to eat, it’s probably available in Huntsville now.
That’s going to be increasingly tough on stuff-on-the-walls. Remember our Darryl’s? Bennigan’s? (There’s an O’Charley’s about a mile west of this Fridays location that looks to be just about done, too. Being right in the middle of everything apparently isn’t going to save it.)
Anymore, I’ve got all of these places in the same mental file as Cracker Barrel—useful for a quick, predictable experience on the road, and not much else. There are smaller, more focused chains that are more interesting, but the crushing homogeny of the very largest ones just doesn’t appeal to me at all. Quoting myself:
“…I will confess feeling a little smug whenever I hear anyone but the very young or very old describe a stuff-on-the-wall as ‘my favorite restaurant.’ Let’s maybe think about getting more than a mile from an interstate once in a while there, skippy. There’s bunches more out there than Extreme Fajitas for dinner and a knob-shopping trip to Lowe’s afterward.”
Au revoir, TGI Fridays.