- Borders Books, whose store is one of the anchors of DTSS, isn't going to be filing for bankruptcy, despite recent speculation that they might be forced to do so. Well, at least not yet they aren't. I would be sad if Borders were to disappear. Where else would I kill time when my wife shops at Ann Taylor Loft/DSW/Ulta? Of course, I am the archetypal consumer responsible for the company's woes, seeing as I buy nearly all my books on Amazon.com, with the exception of those instances where Borders offers a 40% off coupon. The only upside to Borders failing would be the prospect of a store-wide clearance sale.
I imagine the Silver Spring Borders does OK relative to others nationwide, as it always looks busy. Whether or not anyone is actually buying things or just lollygagging like me is a different matter. Maybe Barnes & Noble, which is doing relatively well, could step in and take over the space provided it wasn't too small for their needs.
- The Blog of Diminishing Returns, authored by an economics professor who resides in Silver Spring, recently had a post examining the economics of IMAX pricing at the Majestic 20. This was the first of a series of posts he intends to write looking at the economics of Silver Spring. His follow-up post examines the competitive burrito environment in downtown Silver Spring. As a former Econ major, I always find these types of analyses interesting.
- One economic analysis I'd like to see is the increase in business local establishments see after issuing coupons via Groupon, and what type of profit they actually realize. I went to LebTav in DTSS the other day with my groupon and watched as six consecutive customers paid using a printed coupon. A few weekends back, after Parkway Deli offered their $20 for $10 coupon, the place was visibly busier.
- I finally got around to checking out Babe's Sports bar (which is now on Twitter and Facebook), and it was a good time. I'm not going to do a proper review as restaurant reviews aren't really my area, but here's a brief rundown of the good and some potential areas for improvement.
- The food was pretty good for sports bar food. I didn't try the ribs, but by all accounts they are excellent. My burger was tasty, as were the fries (more on these below). The brownie I had for dessert was delicious.And a few suggestions for Babe's, based on my idealized vision of a sports bar:
- The French fries come with Old Bay seasoning on them by default. There should be a law in Maryland requiring this.
- They have a Gus Frerrote Redskins jersey displayed on the wall, which is appropriate as up against a wall is how the Gus Bus will be best remembered.
- Dim the lights. It was a tad bright downstairs, particularly for a pool hall.
- If possible, set up an area with a large projection screen where big groups of people can watch a game together. This was one of my main requirements when I posted last year regarding Silver Spring's need for a sports bar. Without this, you get a lot of small groups spread out around the room, taking away from the communal atmosphere.
- Hook up one television to the bar's main sound system so that the audio for the featured game can be heard throughout the building (including the bathrooms, preferably).
- Take down the Baltimore Ravens banner immediately.
- I make an effort to support local businesses, but the price of beans at Highland Origin Coffee is ridiculous. They charge $40 for two pounds of whole bean coffee! I can mail order the same amount from Stumptown Coffee Roasters in Portland for less, and that includes shipping from the west coast. Highland's coffee is good, but not that good. Sorry, just had to bitch about that.