Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Going, Going, Gone

Marsilio's Resaurant, a Chambersburg icon for over half a century will be closing later this year. Reportedly catering will be provided from the Roebling Avenue location and a restaurant will open in a hotel in Hamilton, Twp. The owner wants to spend more time with his family and play more golf and tennis.

Michelle Lorie's cheesecakes, another of Trenton's gastronomic landmarks, will be closing in a couple of weeks so the the owners may pursue other interests.

We all know that the food business is one of long hours and success is dependent not just upon excellent product and service, but the fickle tastes of the public. So maybe the time for these two businesses has "passed." Maybe they have traveled the arc of their business lifecycle and change is inevitable.

These are but two examples of longtime, locally owned businesses that the city is losing. Sal de Forte's restaurant closed and moved to Ewing. Tattoni's closed/sold and although Lou has been on hand for a transition period, will most likely reopen elsewhere.

And it's not just restaurants. Trenton Auto Body and Auto Glass abruptly closed up and left town last year. Martha Press's Gallery on Lafayette, after navigating the treacherous initial five year period of any small business closed and relocated to Bordentown.

We, the people of Trenton and our elected representatives need to stop and take a reality check. Are we doing or not doing something(s) that are contributing to the exodus of local businesses from the scene?

Support: do we make every effort to spend our dollars locally or do we chase "bargains" that ultimately cost us more because the money leaves the local economy?

Image: do we take every measure that we can to make sure our properties are neat and tidy and welcoming and that all codes and laws are enforced for the maximum benefit of the majority? Do we deport ourselves in civil, humane and courteous ways that welcome and encourage people to come to Trenton, linger and spend their money here?

Accountability: do we hold ourselves and our public officials accountable for maintaining a safe and orderly city that welcomes visitors and businesses?

Unless we can answer all of those questions in the affirmative, we are going to see more of our treasured businesses withdraw from the city.

Until we can answer all of these questions in the affirmative, we are not doing enough to ensure Trenton's revitalization.

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