Downtown failures and inconsiderate neighbors

Well, Gilroy’s downtown suffered another big loss in the “downtown’s the place to be” schematic with the recent closure of the Clock Tower restaurant located in the Old City Hall building.

By far the best of the historic buildings in Gilroy’s downtown, the Clock Tower restaurant really was a fine dining experience, with excellent food and service. I think the highlight for my dining experience there was last Mother’s Day when the restaurant served one of the best buffets that I’ve ever tasted. From the appetizers to the selections of the main course, everything was wonderful. And their choice of desserts was superb as well.

I will certainly miss this fine restaurant, and I’m sorry that it joins a string of business failures in downtown. We can probably all remember from college accounting, that profit (or loss) is formulated by the sum of sales minus expenses. As The Dispatch pointed out recently when writing about the demise, expenses were simply too high, and sales did not come close to making a profit.

Doing an amateur autopsy of the restaurant’s failure, I ask could it be that the prices were simply too high to attract more customers? Maybe too limited a menu? Or was it that downtown, in its present condition, simply does not convey the ambiance for any kind of fine dining experience? Or is it that parking was too prohibitive and inconvenient? What about customer concerns over safety after leaving the restaurant at night? If you ever ate at the Clock Tower restaurant, I’d like your ideas on why it failed. Email me with your thoughts, and I’ll include them in a future column.

It’s time for January’s TRASH award (unTidy Residences Antagonizing Sensible Homes), the “award” I initiated back in November for local residential Gilroy properties that contribute to blight in our community. TRASH property nominations are submitted by you the column readers, and then checked out personally by me to insure they are trashy.

So, opening the envelope so to speak, we have a January “winner” with the property confirmed as contributing to local blight. Specifically, here’s the comment of the person who submitted the nomination: “Something needs to be done about the slobs with garbage in their yards and the weeds growing over the house and their abandoned cars. Check out the house at 1120 Ayer Dr. They had an old dryer sitting in the driveway for months, painted the trim a bright purple, and have garbage and other junk stored in their driveway. I guess they got the hint and cleaned up a little and painted the trim a darker purple, but it still looks bad.”

The property looks bad, and needs owner/occupant action to get the mess cleaned-up. It continues to be unfortunate for surrounding property owners/occupants who keep their properties and yards orderly and neat, and cared for, that such neighbors have to be so insensitive to others.

Speaking of neighbors, another reader emailed me with a suggestion for a new local “award.” I’ll let this person speak for themselves: “What about a ‘Most Rude Neighbor Award’? I have been calling [about] a large motor home that is a problem. These people pull it in their driveway [but] it overhangs and blocks the sidewalk. When the city tells them they need to move it, they put it in the street. When the city tells them they need to move it, they put it back in their driveway, where it overhangs and blocks the sidewalk, again. This has been going on since September.

“When I called the city last time, they told me they had had ‘numerous’ complaints about this particular motor home. Why can’t the city start to fine the owners for being repeat offenders? I did an interview with Officer Gary Muraoka. He gave me dollar amounts of the cost to enforce the vehicle abatement laws. We should recoup some of these costs from the offenders! How can people be so rude and inconsiderate?

“We should publish their addresses and give them ‘awards’ for being ‘most rude’ and ‘most wasteful’ of our tax dollars!”

I’m guessing however, if I were to institute such an award, that there might not be enough space in this column to list the monthly nominations. Now who would have ever thought there are such people in Gilroy?

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