In 2010 the talk of the town was The Farmers Diner and the promise of the Vermont eatery making its New York debut in our vicinity. Co-owner Denise Perras tells us today that expansion of the popular diner to Brooklyn is still on the menu, but not before a new location is launched on the West Coast. She writes:
Our hearts are still there, as we fell in love with PLG, and most importantly, the residents. At this time we are focused on the other piece of our expansion project, San Francisco area specifically. Our first location set to open in the spring.
Our experience in Brooklyn was excellent. The neighborhood was most generous with their resources, and the city was just great. A lot of people poured their time and energy into the possibility of our opening. However, the business model was based on a neighborhood owned store, much like the investment model we used in Middlebury. California was the next logical move, given our positioning of the company regarding impacting sustainable ag.
The Farmers Diner still plans to open in Brooklyn in the future, just not as soon as we had originally planned.
For those of us who believe that attracting new businesses is vital to the future of our community, it will be hard to top the vision of a 24-hour restaurant based on locavore principles. But while The Farmers Diner may be looking west for the time being, other purveyors continue to eye Brooklyn for expansion. Two major players in the gourmet burger business are taking root downtown and in Ft. Greene (Shake Shack and Smashburger, respectively). And outside of the food business Apple is once again rumored to be looking at Atlantic Yards for a retail space. What kind of outside investment would you like to see in our neighborhood? Or do you think the better choice is to create and support new establishments within our own borders? Is the best answer a combination of both?