Comment 41294

By Pub Grub (anonymous) | Posted May 30, 2010 at 04:43:37

As someone who has frequented the area for 10 years or more, I'd say that the pedestrian experience is the most noticeable difference on the strip. In terms of commercial and retail, not so much. I'm not blaming two-way for anything, I'm just making an observation. You could argue that the bigger impact on the viability of John Street was made by the closure of the Connaught, which almost pulled the plug on an entire city block.

You're right... Street Meat BBQ is another business that has opened along that strip since 2002. Mata Mata tattoo has set up shop as well, as did Affinity. But they generally replace legendary businesses that existed just prior to the two-way conversion period (RIP Budapest, RIP Raven). The Corktown Plaza has held onto a Hasty Market (downtown's largest 24-hour grocery store?) and a laundromat and flipped pretty much everything else; the Young-end restaurant is usually good for about 18 months before its tenant loses their shirt. Business success south of Augusta is spotty at best.

South of Main, the district won a nice restaurant that always seems quiet (Incognito) where I believe a restaurant went before, a party-posh pub, a sausage vendor, a shawarma vendor, a grim payday loan bureau, a talented tattoo hut. But it's also branded itself as the city's downtown party street (its six notable blocks connecting 77, London Tap, Tailgates, Lionshead and the Augusta cluster, with Slainte and Corktown a short stagger away) which might be a significant inbuilt limitation (enthusiastic new business is great but Gallaghers and Street Meat BBQ don't do much to alter the monoculture of the area). Drinking hours being what they are, the street only really comes alive after dark. But in light of the challenges facing us as a city, sometimes a stiff drink and a good time is just what the doctor ordered.

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