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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Grammer's Closes; Some don't care.

Cross-posted on the OTR Blog

Why should we be upset when an establishment we don’t frequent closes?

I recently saw a Twitter conversation between two people regarding the closing of Grammer’s in OTR. The twitterers (who will remain nameless) went back and forth with the one (person 1) saying they were sad (for the neighborhood) about the news and the other person (person 2) saying that those who didn’t frequent Grammer’s shouldn’t be upset because they weren’t affected by the closing.

Before I get in to the reasons why person 2’s logic is flawed, let’s establish a few things. Grammer’s was a neighborhood establishment. It had been there for over 130 years and was the only business in that general vicinity.

When ever a neighborhood establishment closes, we should all be saddened. Churches, schools, restaurants, bars, stores, and others all serve to anchor neighborhoods. They provide jobs, services, food, recreation, or other goods for the community’s residents and visitors.

The sudden closing of Grammer’s should sadden everyone for numerous reasons:

  1. The employees are now unemployed and were given no notice.
  2. That corner will now be more dangerous with a closed business there and no eyes on the street to police the area.
  3. The landmark building will now sit vacant, possibly declining in condition as no one monitors it.
  4. We now have one less business in OTR, a neighborhood working hard to improve its image.

Notice none of these four reasons are “I can’t go there now to enjoy a beer!!” Reasons like this are selfish and have no place in our community. While I didn’t frequent Grammer’s often, I will still miss being able to go there and get a beer. They were one of a few places that had Christian Moerlein’s Barbarossa on tap.

So before you say that people can’t be upset about a business closing because they didn’t go to it, move beyond selfish thinking, and look at how it affects the community and others.

What ever happened to empathy??


  1. Sorry, but it's unfortunate precisely because we can no longer meet friends there for a drink. Especially since it was the only place in the neighborhood that had decent parking.

  2. Sorry to resurrect an old topic, but I feel compelled to offer my two cents.

    On the one hand, I agree with you completely. I'm sorry to see any business in OTR have to pack up and leave. Grammer's had a great run (130 years!). It was a neighborhood staple for a very long time.

    On the other hand, this is a case where empathy is perhaps not completely deserved. Grammer's dug its own grave in this situation. Comparing the bar from 2 years ago to the Grammer's that just shut down, the difference is astounding. It went from being a great place in the neighborhood to spend several hours, to an unfriendly dive with unfriendly staff. I've heard numerous stories recently about people getting berated and physically pushed out by bouncers at closing time (and these are not people prone to making a drunken scene). That would have been unheard of a few years ago.

    Every time I've been back, the staff has been cliquish and shifty. It just didn't feel like a neighborhood bar anymore.

    There are just too many other good bars around Main Street (Neon's, MOTR, Japp's soon...) to simply exist and hope that you'll continue getting business. Grammer's stopped caring, and suffered the consequences when people began to realize it was turning into a terrible place.

    Apparently there's a new restaurant moving into the building now, which would alleviate the vacancy, building condition, and crime problems you mentioned. I've always thought that space would make a kickass restaurant. I'm excited to see what happens next for the Grammer's building. Grammer's itself, however, has run its course.

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