Friday, April 3, 2009

Joe Moore, Inconsistent Restaurant Promoter

What's a guy gotta do to get a free restaurant review and plug from an alderman? I don't know. Why don't you ask 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore, who occasionally and very selectively promotes restaurants in Rogers Park. Some of them, anyway. The latest example is his shameless plug for the new Hop Haus in RP. It will be located in the Gateway Centre, at W. Howard and N. Clark. Grill Inn opened in October, 2007. It was immediately popular. On March 27, 2008, Chicago News Bench noted that Alderman Moore had just discovered the Grill Inn restaurant at 1422 W. Morse Avenue. So what? So, Grill Inn opened five months previously, and Moore was just discovering it. An employee of Grill Inn said that Moore asked him, "How long have you been open?" Moore pretends to be very interested in the development of troubled Morse Avenue and Rogers Park in general. Yet he was completely unaware of a new bright spot on the otherwise mostly dingy Morse Avenue. He never did send an email blast or post anything on his website that promoted Grill Inn. So here we are this week, with Moore sending an email blast out to promote the Hop Haus. The process, if there is one, by which Moore decides to promote a restaurant remains a mystery. Are campaign contributions a requirement? I don't know, I'm just asking. Back in November of last year, Moore published "Think Globally, Shop Locally: Local Gift Ideas" on his website and in an email blast. It included a list of 33 businesses in the 49th Ward that Moore encouraged residents to patronize. "Below are ten good reasons to shop locally," he wrote, "I've also provided a host of great gift ideas, all available here in the 49th Ward. Let's all spend the bulk of our holiday shopping dollars close to home!" Surely, there are more than 33 businesses in the 49th Ward that Moore could have listed. Why list any if you're not going to list all? Should the alderman show special promotional preferences for some merchants, while ignoring others? Is that fair? lists 97 restaurants and bars in Rogers Park, 16 "wine shops and groceries," five yoga studios, three bookstores, and more. The 49th Ward Alderman chose to highlight only 33 businesses as worth supporting. Why? The Hop Haus is owned and operated by the same people who own the Leona's restaurant chain. (My mini restaurant review of Leona's: Yuck. Overpriced. Too cutesy. Lousy service.) As you leave the Hop Haus and drive home, and as you pass other restaurants and bars and stores and businesses of all kinds in Rogers Park, ask yourself why they have not received free promotion from Joe Moore. Chicago News Bench RSS Feed CommieBama Hats and More