the state

– of jack brown’s comments. by vastate
Tuesday, 21 April 2009, 16:48
Filed under: -of eats, -of green, -of harrisonburg, -of health, -of jhumphrey

i just have to flex my editor muscles and respond to the numerous comments regarding jack brown’s in full post format.


so, what is all the resistance to excellence around here?

i am really surprised that you all are actively protesting AGAINST fueling our local economy and encouraging our community businesses to be something special instead of “what it already is.”  i don’t know.  but i think that energy spent preserving the status quo is usually wasted energy.

for example,

I don’t think Jack Brown’s should try to be more of restaurant than it already is – I like Jack Brown’s because I can go get fries with a burger and booze after midnight – and it is downtown! So please, keep being a beer and burger joint and you will keep me coming back…

and, in response to reader request for a veggie option,

jbs is going to do just fine doing things like they’re doing them. if you’d like to comment on downtown endeavours that are not destined for success, i think there are better targets. if you’d like to make what is or isn’t on a menu into an issue of diversity (or the lack thereof) (which for the record is kind of crazy), it might behoove you to consider what the word means before stating that the other restaurants all have very similar veg options and jbs should toe that line.

there were some good points about working a small menu and the reality of a small space.  and i will have to disagree with johan regarding the rotating veg course idea because of these restrictions.

but, people, would you turn your nose at buns made across the street at shank’s bakery, and beef from T&E’s meat market?  would those simple but excellent changes make you too uncomfortable?

how about some green inspiration?  take a look at our neighboring towns – staunton is THRIVING because of numerous businesses with a local economy focus.  charlottesville too.  one of the best things i did all winter was stop at this guy’s little trailer near the downtown mall and buy fair trade hot chocolate and organic donuts from him on a very cold december day.  short menu.  small space.  big ideas.  inspired customers.


green. local. sustainable. community.

these are not words restricted to the bourgeois elite as some seem to insinuate.  these are the future.  the necessary future.  for farmers.  for the poor.  for the rich.  none of us will exsist long if we continue to believe that supporting and INSISTING on local, sustainable business is somehow elitist.

if you think this, you should meet some of the most vicious supporters of gardens, farms, and small business.  they are far from rich.  far from higher education.  far from whole foods market luxury.  they are all about survival.  the appalachian tobacco farmers turning to organic micro-greens, potatoes, and peppers as a matter of blunt survival.


these people probably like a good, non-fancy, simple burger and fries as much as you.  but if the product supports sustainable practices – and their livelihood – the farmers would probably be grateful.

i stopped off at the h’burg farmer’s market this morning on my way home from work.


the scene was not of trust fund hipsters, be-clogged former hippies, and the upper crust.  it was of working families.  of mom’s chasing grumpy toddlers while trying to sell flowers. of old farmers with dirt encrusted fingers.  of trying to make a living.  of realizing that while costco and walmart are all about numbers, the farmer’s market is all about faces.  and food.  the nutrition we all need.

some of you commenters began rolling your eyes a long time ago.  i know.  you think i’m being dramatic.  you think you know my type.

why not leave well enough alone?  why use a new, innocent, pretty good burger place as a soapbox?

because i have a little guy at my house.  he’s almost three.


and i know for a fact that i must fight and insist every step of the way on sustainability for his sake.  sustainabiliy as a practicality.  not just a neat hobby for do-gooders.  literal sustainability.  recession-proof sustainability.

so that beer, burgers, and fries in a locally-owned downtown establishment will still be an option for him when he wants to go out for a good time at 1 a.m. in twenty years.


2 Comments so far
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Comment by mateolowen

[…] April 2009, 18:33 Filed under: -of green, -of jhumphrey, -of reads oh.  i just figured out what your problem is.  or at least the new york times magazine did.  thinks they […]

Pingback by - of your green minds or not. « the state

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