Comment 17122

By statius (registered) | Posted January 12, 2008 at 20:32:41

I had the distinct displeasure of patronizing the Bad Dog myself not too long ago. I found the service cold and the coffee not nearly so good as all the posturing here would seem to suggest. Though I am certainly apt to give it a second chance, such amateurish and apathetic business practices are all too common amongst small enterprises in Hamilton. I would not wish ill luck on anyone, but the place, like all poorly run businesses, probably deserves to fail (although I haven't seen what the new management is like, so maybe things really have turned around). I don't think any establishment should be patronized simply because it is independent. There is such a prejudice amongst a certain class of consumer against any sort of corporatized product, it really defies common sense. Rarely is the product in question ever so bad as "indie elitists" (to quote a recent Times article) claim it to be (rarely is it ever so good as its mass consumption suggests either, mind you). But it doesn't make sense economically to disregard utility in favour of image and some distorted notion of conscience (such practice is often ultimately wasteful). Sometimes moral consideration legitimately does enter into a consumer's decision between one product and the next, and occassionaly economic considerations even weigh against the immediately cheapest, most convenient purchase option (as with shopping at Walmart). But this is relatively rare. And besides, default judgment against the corporate option is by some measures immoral in itself.

That being said, I too am pleased that Starbucks has finally made the move to the lower city. The presence of its stores is often taken to be categorical proof of an area's successful rejuvenation. In Toronto, for instance, some yuppies won't buy into an "up and coming" (read formerly working class, now gentried) area until Starbucks opens a shop. Kudos to Locke.

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