Editorial: Public plea for restaurant diversity

Editorial cartoon 3/1/16
Emily Brymer/THE REVIEW

Dear Newark City Council,

Students are increasingly disappointed in the lack of food styles on Main Street and demand that the city council work to change this in spite of its poor record in this area in the past.

The vast majority of establishments are either pubs or serve Mexican food. The pubs act as anchors of business on Main Street. Deer Park, Catherine Rooney’s and Klondike Kate’s all have a successful history of business here, being popular with students and residents alike.

On the other hand, the number of Mexican restaurants are diluting the market and preventing more diverse food choices from moving in. Mexican restaurants include El Diablo, Chipotle, California Tortilla and Qdoba. These four restaurants are all vying for a slice of the same market, and therefore they not only dilute the profits and success of each other, but also prevent a variety of businesses from moving into their locations.

Qdoba recognized how diluted the market is and attempted to introduce a unique element to its business last summer.  It was decided that they would apply for a license to serve alcohol. The city council chose to reject the application.

As a result of an internal poll, The Review is officially endorsing El Diablo as the Mexican Restaurant of choice on Main Street. The vast majority of staff asked stated that the burritos were superior to others on Main Street. Additionally, many have expressed the opinion that the well publicized E. coli outbreak has hurt Chipotle’s standing and has driven customers to other restaurants. It is the opinion of this editorial board that the excess of Mexican restaurants should be addressed by the least popular locations closing in order to give other businesses a larger market share.

There is a significant history with the city council failing to bring diversity in food options to main street. A few years ago there was the possibility of a Wawa on Main Street. Wawa is widely recognized as the premier convenience and sub sandwich chain in this area. So, it is disappointing that the city council voted to prevent a Wawa from being located within walking distance for thousands of university students and Newark residents. Former Mayor Vance Funk actually resigned from his position as a result of the controversy.

There remain several notable food markets with no presence near campus. There are no sushi or Thai places, nor a 24-hour diner. (IHOP managed to satisfy the desire for the latter, yet it closed several years ago). It is difficult, if not impossible, to find such cuisines near campus at the moment.

Despite the quality of the burgers and burritos available on Main Street, residents of Newark and students of the university deserve a more diverse selection. When going out to eat, it should not be a choice between burgers and burritos. Ultimately, there needs to be a more varied selection of food. Hopefully the city council will recognize this and change its historical attitude on the issue.

Bring us our Thai. The Review demands it.

Editorials are developed by The Review’s editorial staff, led by editorial editor Jacob Orledge, who can be contacted at orledgej@udel.edu. 

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