Thursday, December 27, 2007
Making The Grade… People don’t except much from Squid: Tiny brain. Cold blooded. Not nearly as good looking as some of the other cephalopods in the sea. And, truth be told, Squid likes it this way. It’s easy to exceed expectations when they’re rock bottom to begin with. So maybe this is the strategy behind a yet-to-open restaurant, graded, err, named, “C.”
The “C” Restaurant and Lounge will be located inside the new Cannery Row hotel, opening in May, called the The Clement Monterey (modestly named after its own, Clement Chen III). According to its web site, “The ‘C’ Restaurant will showcase the finest in fresh seafood, Angus beef, local organic produce and the area’s best panoramic view of the Monterey Bay. Outdoor seating is also available as is a ‘cuisine to-go menu.’ The restaurant also provides a separate lounge area for cocktails or your favorite beverage along with an extensive appetizer menu. The Library offers a private dining setting with beautiful views accommodating up to 50 people. The Reading Room will offer an abundant selection of wines, cocktails and cordials plus a wide variety of espresso drinks and desserts.”
All of this sounds dandy to Squid, but… the name? Squid gets the need to mark one’s territory, but not in an era of restaurant-grading when one’s mark is the letter C. Says a tipster, “The strategy appears to be to keep expectations low.”
Marketing The City… Squid was lining a bird cage with one of those pseudo-newspapers last week and stumbled upon a letter written by Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue. Donohue was justifying the cash-strapped city’s decision to hire an image consultant to give “expert advice about the differences between marketing a city and marketing a product.”
Admittedly, Squid’s degrees are in fluffy subjects like literature and philosophy, not hard-core marketing. But one thing even Squid gets: Salinas ain’t radicchio. Yeah, yeah, you can wrap it up in a pretty package and get some swanky ad exec to make it sound sexy. But if the lettuce on the inside is wilted, that city isn’t selling. Doesn’t take an image consultant hired all the way from Minnesota(?!?) to figure that one out.
So here’s a free newsflash that seems to be old news to everyone but the City Council: Salinas isn’t going to attract new business or Peninsula shoppers until it addresses its interior first: gangs and crime rates. How about a big push toward outreach, enforcement and victim advocacy? Oh, wait, a Salinas nonprofit victim-advocacy group begged for help just this past summer, $100K to be exact. Donohue said no, there was no money for that. And so, it closed. Ah, well. Maybe some urban artists will pretty up the place. After all, who’s gonna notice it’s empty on the inside?