Wondering about Wonderland

Plus: parking problems at Ziggy's

Trying to reduce the city's dependence on cars is all well and good, but they're still a necessary evil for some of us until we can get the hell out of the suburbs, live near decent public transportation, or both.

This of course has nothing to do with the actual ordinance, about which I have only this to say: I hope they can get it worked out, because those pecan waffles are so dreamy.


No flavor: Frankly, I'd probably care about this a lot more if the food at Ziggy's had any flavor at all, and the coffee didn't blow.

Businesses moving into predominantly residential areas need to ensure sufficient parking to keep from being a nuisance to existing residents and businesses. That's not a hard concept, though it's been a challenge for Taft Street Coffee just up the street.

Mr. Midtown

Ziggy's speaks: The discussion about mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods is fantastic. I hope more discussion ensues — this is a long-term issue that is not going to go away, regardless of what happens to Ziggy's.

To clarify a couple of important factual errors:

The city is wrong about a change of ownership "last year." We bought the restaurant in May of 2007 and opened on July 2, 2007.

We had a contract to both lease and purchase our parking lot across the street before we purchased the restaurant.

The one complaint about parking? It was in the fall of 2009, after we'd been open for two and a half years, from the owner of the parking lot who refused to honor the contract since day one. Why? To drive up the price of the property.

We wanted to be in Montrose just for this reason — to be a local place for the neighborhood within walking and biking distance. Isn't this why Montrose is a top ten neighborhood in the country?

Don't complain about why restaurants always locate in strip shopping centers. Now you know why. Plenty of parking spots right in front so you can look at asphalt and cars.

Downtown, by the way, is exempt from the parking ordinance. Ziggy's is opening there in a couple of weeks. Not that I'm bitter about parking.

And as you drive around town looking for a parking spot, start making a list of all of the places that don't have their own parking. You'll be surprised.

Kevin Strickland

Frustrated business owner: I have been in business more than 25 years in Montrose. I have always offered free off-road parking for customers. I have been a part of the neighborhood associations and have lived in the neighborhood more than 30 years. I have improved the neighborhood around me in many ways — increasing its value, not decreasing it.

I am concerned for my neighbors at all times and listen to their parking issues. I cannot say the same about the neighbors or the city being concerned about me. They voted to take away street parking and forced me to buy the bungalow houses around me, which I loved and then had to level to make room for a parking lot. It doesn't solve anything.

I am not going anywhere, that is for sure. I will buy your house and level it if that is what I am forced to do. So be it!


Not true: Everybody does not walk to this restaurant. Go there for a weekday lunch. It's all cars. If Ziggy's had to depend on walk-up losers with no jobs who hang out at home for their lunch crowd, there would be no Ziggy's.


No loser: Choosing to walk the half-mile to Ziggy's rather than drive makes me a walk-up loser? I'm also not quite sure how walking and being jobless go hand in hand. That comment shows all that is wrong with some people's perceptions.

I think a number of us who choose to live in Montrose do so because we're attracted to the possibilities of walking to our neighborhood bars and cafes. We don't want to be stuck with strip centers.

Recently, to avoid the valet, I tried street parking and walking a block to Dolce Vita. When I returned, someone had left a note on my window saying that I should use the valet and not park on their street. I'm certain it wasn't the valet, but rather a homeowner who lives on the corner and assumed I was headed to the restaurant. I don't get it.


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