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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments


The hits just keep coming on my side of town. Hartley's, then Lambro's, now Casa D'Angelo's. Pretty soon my only choices will be the Wendy's at the end of the street and the Hall's and the Chinese and Mexican places across the Bluffton Road Bridge. If the Hall's goes down, this will be more than just a long recession.

UPDATE: Our story notes that, although the current recession is the proximate cause of Casa's closing, revenue has steadily declined there since Lutheran Hospital moved from Fairfield Avenue in 1992, and the Casaburo family has been more or less using the profits from its other four restaurants to keep the Fairfield location open. And this is depressing:

Asked why longtime, well-liked south-side restaurants are closing, Parisi said, “It's a domino effect.” He cited the closing of Southtown Mall, Lutheran's exit and the closure of George's grocery store just down Fairfield from Casa. Then the south-side restaurants started to leave. In addition to the three already mentioned, Catablu and Chappell's Coral Grill both moved out of their Broadway locations last spring, although Chappell's has since reopened.


Tim Zank
Tue, 02/09/2010 - 10:39am

Leo, not to worry, I think I read somewhere that Mayor Henry assigned a task force to address the problem headed up by Deputy Mayor Purcell to look into, oh wait....



Bob G.
Tue, 02/09/2010 - 11:45am

I'll give you that Lutheran moving (lunch crowd) and the recession had "something" to do with these closings (in part), but let's jump into the WAY-BACK machine and see what is the root cause of having the SOUTH end of town becoming the "new" Detroit really is...
It's the PEOPLE (or the lack of decent ones anyway).

And this was caused by Helmke's lack of involvement down here, allowing (and in fact urging) all those developers to "head up north", and even out west of town...leaving the south side to "fend for itself". And after other mayors have passed us by, we've more of the same...still.

When all that HAD to be done was to address the issue when it presented itself, instead of being so ignorant to the facts.

After a mere 12 years, we have WELL over 80 businesses that have LEFT just this part of Fort Wayne (including a once nice mall), while other venues elsewhere THRIVE. (hmm...thought there was a recession going on, Councilman Hines...what's in that pipe YOU'VE been smokin'?)
Time for the truth:
It's all about CRIME and the ilk that perpetuate it, plain and simple.

You want businesses to come BACK here...get rid of the PROBLEM (uh, that would be the aforementioned CRIME).

After all, who wants to do business in an area where they may get robbed (Casa has been, and more than once) property vandalized, and employees killed (Anyone recall Tasty Pizza on Fairfield, which is still open).
But, if you go up NORTH, where the people are CIVIL, and more law-abiding, and overall CRIME is a lot lower, well then...there 'ya go, right?

It's not rocket sceince, people...but it IS common sense and something to take note of.

After all, some of us "live the adventure" down here...daily.
We know...we see...and we ARE keeping notes and taking names (for those in the city with blinders on).

Ciao, Casa...

Andrew J.
Tue, 02/09/2010 - 9:04pm

I though Leo said eateries, like Lambros, were closing down because older folks, like him, don't go out to eat hardly at all, opting to cloister themselves inside their kitchens.
Sounds like a generational cause to eateries leaving the south side.
Even if they build it, the old folks won't come.

Tim Zank
Wed, 02/10/2010 - 3:38pm

I hadn't been to Lambros in ages, but years ago, while a resident of the south side, there wasn't a better place. After golf at fairview for a few cocktails, or lunch a couple times a week, or a weekend evening prime rib dinner. You couldn't have asked for a better atmosphere or more gracious hosts than the Eschcoffs...

Fond memories indeed!

Bob G.
Wed, 02/10/2010 - 4:53pm

On the SOUTH SIDE, they USED to have a RICHARDS (old folks heaven for eats), and THAT place up and left town...didn't like being robbed and broken into.
Go figure...

They WON'T build it (down here)...the real businessmen already KNOW the score and a lot of the business market is purposely steered AWAY from the area (as are potential residents), except for the "specialty" businesses that cater primarily to a very small crowd and minority section 8'ers.
But that's the way the city wants it, I guess.

Wonder when they'll be cutting me that check to "buy me out", so we can move the hell AWAY from the cesspool (and take our poorly spent tax money with us)?

Not holding m'breath, folks!


Andrew J.
Wed, 02/10/2010 - 9:51pm

Maybe "the real businessmen already know the score" and move from the south side because older people of means like you and others don't go out for dinner. You shouldn't lament the loss of business you don't support with your hard-earned dollars.

Kevin Knuth
Thu, 02/11/2010 - 5:33pm

Zank- I got great memories of Lambro's too. I proposed to my wife while sitting in the corner booth in the bar!

Bob G.
Fri, 02/12/2010 - 10:32am

Older people "like me" (lmao) used to go out ONCE a week for dinner (AND on holidays)...looked forward to it, too.

But, as the crime went UP...the number of places to eat went DOWN...and many customers simply "left Dodge".
(see the pattern yet?)

We supported ALL the businesses (with our hard-earned dollars) that wound up leaving ...as did a lot of others that do indeed "lament" the loss of over 80 fine businesses and restaurants.
Where were all the YOUNGER people that "could" have took up the mantle and kept businesses here?
(too busy Wii bowling, I'll bet)

Thank your politicians for allowing a once nice part of town (with some honest tax money rolling in) to devolve into a slum (devoid of revenue).

I know I always do.
(gives the middle finger salute at every chance)

Tim Zank
Fri, 02/12/2010 - 1:32pm

Hey Kevin, That's pretty cool! Is it safe to say that meal cost you a lot more than initially expected? Ha!

Andrew J.
Fri, 02/12/2010 - 5:21pm

Believe me, I also went to Lambros and know the Eschoffs. It's not a place that attracts a younger clientele. Same with the Acme and Casa D'Angelo.