What bars and restaurants can do for your neighborhood

What bars and restaurants can do for your neighborhood

We’re looking forward to the new options and amenities, including more restaurants and bars, that will be coming to White Flint. Having a variety of options close to each other may in fact interest Millennials and empty nester/retiring Baby Boomers alike, as many people from both generations seek more walkable, amenity-rich, transit-oriented communities.

Matthew Yglesias from Slate points out that while some worry more bars will cause problems for their neighborhood (using his own neighborhood in D.C. as an example), these establishments promote many positive elements for a city that are often overlooked, including:

* promoting local/small-business creation and growth throughout a city

* taking advantage of co-location – “The late-night pizza joint’s proximity to the dive bar increases the value of both… theaters and live-music venues benefit from proximity to other after-hours activities and also drive customers to bars and restaurants. Forcing the cluster to disperse destroys its value [and] preventing new firms from entering the cluster fosters high prices and mediocrity.”

* providing “meaningful opportunities for people with limited formal education to work their way up the ladder and go into business for themselves.”

Yglesias adds that jurisdictions should look at liquor licensing with an eye toward citywide effects, including tax revenue and job creation – while “attempting to directly address perceived problems with crime and trash.”

We agree that a vibrant bar/restaurant scene should absolutely include adequate trash pickup, safe and reliable ways for people to get home, and an overall safe environment at each venue and in the general area. And if those things are in place, these establishments can add immense value to the local area and perhaps even an entire jurisdiction.

Amy Donin

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