Saturday, June 07, 2008

"Are we bringing in an element of people that we don't need in Olde Towne Portsmouth?"

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Originally uploaded by Tidewater Muse.
In the Virginian Pilot, Jen McCaffery wrote today Portsmouth to revisit plan for nightclub in Old Towne. Here's the lede:
The city's planning commission split this week over whether to allow a venue with late-night entertainment to open in Olde Towne.

Restaurateurs and club owners Terry Webb and Kelli Davis said they envision young professionals sampling tapas and sipping martinis on lounging platforms while listening to poetry or live music. Opening of Rest at 509 High St. would provide a nightlife option that's missing in Olde Towne, they said.
Sounds great. I'd love a jazz and poetry hangout. And, it a venue like this would help continue the life of High Street further up the street toward the intersection with Effingham, and beyond.

And then there was this:
Several business owners from the same block, however, said they worry that the venue could bring the same problems to Olde Towne that a nightclub called David's II did during the 1990s.

"Are we bringing in an element of people that we don't need in Olde Towne Portsmouth?" asked James Rizer, who owns an ice cream parlor next door to where Webb would like to open Rest.
Like the streets of Olde Towne aren't open to everyone?

I live in Olde Towne; I frequent the Bakery which is just two doors down from the proposed venue. I enjoy Baron's across the street. I welcome a venue as proposed.

It is this attitude of anti-diversity that will kill Portsmouth. Plain and simple.

I support the application. How about you?

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