Posted by Jason Sheehan on August 18th, 2011
Tim Whitaker saw the same headlines the rest of us did: The ones about Stephen Starr bailing on Philly and looking elsewhere for cities in which to expand his restaurant empire.
But that wasn’t the part Whitaker found interesting. Starr, after all, has done plenty for Philly’s restaurant scene. Love him or hate him, he’s brought a ton of talent (and money) to this city, and operates a huge number of the most popular restaurants in town. No, what caught Whitaker’s attention was one of the reasons Starr gave for decamping: namely that the city has more or less abandoned some of our established neighborhoods. Well, really just one neighborhood.
Here’s the nut of what Whitaker (and Starr) had to say:
Though it may have been only intended as an aside, Starr had something else to say in his quasi-sayonara. It turns out he doesn’t particularly appreciate the way our civic leaders treat some of our old established neighborhoods—especially one neighborhood in particular.
“… the city needs to work on some of its established neighborhoods, like South Street. I think the city government, in the last few administrations, has ignored it. Left it like an orphan. It has more potential for restaurants and retail, but the city fathers have not spent time trying to make it work.”
You can read the entire Starr defense/call to arms over on the Philly Post right now.
Stephen Starr Stands Up For South Street [Philly Post]