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There is a building not but a few miles from my house that has been a siren song for mom-and-pop restaurants. New restaurants are attracted to the building like moths to a blowtorch. Move in, struggle for a few months, close. It's the circle of life. Hakuna Matata.

The latest restaurant in that building, Brothers on the Bypass, closed at the end of July. Normally, I observe this coming-and-going with a wry chuckle, but this time something is different. Maybe I thought that Brothers on the Bypass had a name catchy enough to grab the public's attention. Maybe I thought their unique mix of all-day-breakfast menu, Mexican-entree specials, and alcohol-laden karaoke shows would be the combination required to overcome their location jinx. Maybe I was rooting for the underdog that opened just as major road construction all but severed visibility and access to the business. Whatever the case, I took this closing hard. For several moments, I was nearly choked up. But then I got over it.

Once again freed from unrealistic expectations, I can now return carefree to one of my favorite pastimes: wondering how long it will be before the next mom-and-pop operation who thinks that they will finally be the one to succeed in that godforsaken location will go out of business. Whoever they are, I give them three months.

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I live in a town where the the biggest thing is always eating at the newest restaurant. For weeks after a new eatery opens, it is thronged with excited customers. It makes sense when the crowd surges towards the new Olive Garden or Mama Lucia's. However, it's a little more confusing when you watch people wait in a line around the building for the Checkers. From the Opinion page in yesterday's Newnan Times-Herald:

DINING CHOICES: We must be starving for something new. A Checkers opens in Newnan and the lines are 30 minutes long. Don't you think we need new dining choices in Newnan?

According the the Coweta County Convention and Visitor's Bureau, there are 168 eateries in this county. You could eat out at a different location every night for almost 6 months and never visit the same restaurant twice! (Granted, you would be eating at a Waffle House once a month, but at least they would be different Waffle Houses!) But, no, we'd rather stand in line for Checkers' Baconzilla® and then write into the paper to complain about the wait.

Checkers, enjoy it while it lasts. In 2 months you won't be the new greasy spoon on the block, and Newnan will abandon you like we did Carabba's, Chili's, and China Garden. Yum. Tastes like closing.

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The American economy is in shambles, banks are closing, the housing market has crashed, gasoline shortages have strangled travel, and none of the Presidential candidates or their seconds appear appropriately qualified for the job. Making matters worse, actors are on the verge of the second crippling strike on entertainment in as many years, potentially destroying the one industry that traditionally performs well during economic recessions.

The good news? Newnan, Georgia is in the headlines: "Rough Economy Felt at Redneck Gourmet," reports CNN. When a place named Redneck Gourmet is suffering, you know times are tough.

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To be continued...


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