austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Walk right in, it's around the back

OK, this may descend to the level of being gossip. But it's interesting stuff. Of course it always is.

So among the local institutions is Theio's, a diner. Its main blessing is that it's open 24 hours and not far from home and the hipster bar where Lansing Pinball League meets. Also right across the street from Mac's Bar, which helps the place stay hopping at 2 am. That said, it's always had quirks. One is that for some reason it isn't a Coney Island, the Michigan-area mutation of diners. It doesn't do coney dogs, which are a mutation of chili dogs endemic to the lower peninsula.

Also it doesn't carry waffles. It used to, or at least, its menus used to list them. Last year we noticed the menus had waffles crossed out, and then new menus came up which didn't list waffles at all. According to the pinball league's regular waitress, the owners sold the waffle iron. It didn't take in enough money to support the expense. I am willing to listen to chefmongoose explaining why this really makes a good deal of sense, but I have to say, it doesn't really sound like something that makes sense.

We got from the waitress occasional bits of news, mostly about what always seemed to be the place being sold to a new owner. And after the Rocket Robin tournament we heard how even she had been fired, and then asked to come back in what has to be the sort of gratifying moment everybody wishes would happen to them. This seemed alarming, but since the person we figured should be there was back, that seemed like the storm had passed.

Then this month, while we were up north for a restful and tiring vacation --- it's been a heck of a month --- a big storm came. The new owners --- I don't know if they're the ones from June --- fired the whole staff.

Now, what is the most important thing to do when you fire the entire staff of a place? Yes, that's right: get, and change, the social media passwords. The diner's Facebook became a blizzard of protests. Whatever now-ex-staffer had the password pinned a particularly vehement complaint about the new management to the front of the page. This lasted a couple days, in that wonderful little riot of a company's public face getting out of its hands and into those of angry customers.

The biggest disturbance to the well-ordered universe, though, is that it's no longer open 24 hours a day. We went to it after a night making up a missed pinball league, at not quite midnight, and it had already closed. Incredibly. I can understand figuring that it's not worth having staff on at 4 am, but when the bar across the street is still going on? When it isn't even midnight yet? The neon sign promising Open 24 Hours was on yet, and has been when we've examined since. Possibly they don't have the ability to turn that off.

(And the alt-weekly had some more information about this but I don't have time to incorporate it. News to follow.)

Trivia: Manchester, England, had seven confectioners in 1800, 41 in 1830, 57 by 1840, and 119 by 1850. Source: Sweets: A History of Temptation, Tim Richardson.

Currently Reading: Sabrina The Teenage Witch: Complete Collection, Volume 1, Editor Victor Gorelick.

PS: Reading the Comics, July 29, 2017: Not Really Mathematics Concluded Edition, cleaning up some loose ends.


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