I’m getting a little tired of everyone talking about Charleston being a dying city, especially when no one seems to offer a definition other than losing population. As a former Charlestonian, I have my own reasons for living in Saint Albans, and given the option, I’d live even further out. But I don’t think even losing population necessarily means a city is dying, it just means people choose to work there and not live there.
So when Don Surber posted his editorial Charleston, like West Virginia, prefers its failure, and said “Not many cities own the distinction of having a McDonald’s restaurant fail – in its downtown,” I had to respond in the Comments, and I’ll repost that here.
You make it sound like having the McDonald’s downtown close was a bad thing. I’m pretty sure the
MickeyD’s at Town Center, at Patrick Plaza, the two in Kanawha City and the one at Southridge are all doing great business.
The funny thing is, we used to think of McDonald’s as a kid’s fast food joint, but as I travel I see the playgrounds disappearing, and more retired and elderly hanging out having breakfast clubs at these restaurants.
So maybe that’s why the one downtown failed. There’s no old folks to go to it, and there’s no kids who hang out downtown. That must mean the people downtown are young professionals with busy, upscale, non-MickeyD lives. We certainly don’t want THOSE people in our downtown!
Personally, I think not having a McDonald’s on the primary corner of the downtown area (Quarrier and Capitol) is an admirable thing. McDonald’s isn’t what draws a creative class to town, it’s places like Taylor Books and the Clay Center and multiple ethnic restaurants right in your downtown business district.