Nation's Restaurant News reports:
The Palm Beach Town Council on Monday voted unanimously to block "formula restaurants" from opening in the island town.
The ban, which was first proposed in 2006, applies to restaurants with three or more units and similar trade names, standardized and limited menus, uniforms, architecture, and decor. The measure will go before voters this spring.
Town officials could not be reached for comment by the time of this posting. However, according to official documents, the move was made in order to preserve local restaurants and to maintain the town's character.
Fostering small businesses and maintaining a unique local atmosphere? Yes, I guess those are valuable– what's that?
"I don't think that Ruth's Chris Steak House or P.F. Chang's is an issue," said council member Leslie Shaw in hearing documents. "The general public controls what succeeds and what doesn't succeed and the reason we were adamant about not seeing a McDonald's, a Starbucks or a Subway and some of these others come in is we were concerned who they were going to cater to and how it was going to impact the residents as a whole."
So it's not the restaurants. It's their damn customers. Got it.
The Palm Beach Post has a similar take, noting that the bill followed the recent arrival of a Starbucks and "worries of the flip-flop-wearing crowd it would attract." Attract? Apparently, the people of Palm Beach believe that you have to drive out of your way to find a Starbucks. And I suppose you do, if you live in Palm Beach, Pyongyang, or the South Pole. I suspect the folks in flip-flops can buy a chai closer to home—though it's more fun, I grant you, if you're offending some snob in the process.
[Via Elizabeth "Big Liz" Large.]