Support Corner Grill and local businesses before it is too late

Kyle Schmidlin and Kyle Schmidlin

For almost 60 years, Corner Grill has stood at the corner of Main and Court Streets. They serve college students delicious food — morning, noon, night and, perhaps best of all, taking us all in when the bars don’t want us anymore for 3 a.m. post-bar snacks.

But Corner Grill is in jeopardy.

Due to building violations, which have been accumulating for at least a year now, the city is ordering Corner Grill to bring itself up to code or face consequences. Unfortunately, the restaurant may not be able to afford the imminent fines, nor the cost of building repair.

Fire department and city officials ordering places to be up to code is nothing new, and is, at least they say, always in the interest of public safety. But in the trying economic times we now find ourselves in, the question becomes: how seriously risky are these building code violations?

Were it the case that every customer in Corner Grill was in immediate danger of a roof collapsing on them or being burned to death in a fire trap, the city’s stance would certainly be justified. But apparently, the violations of which Corner Grill is guilty have existed for some time now.

Whether the city truly has the public’s best interests at heart is debatable; certainly they’ll claim they do, and as of this writing, the owner of Corner Grill, Larry Cain, didn’t want to speak about the matter at any length.

Corner Grill is a tiny business. Threats from the city are not conducive to stimulation of the local economy. Cain has been given a 15-day timeframe to demonstrate he has come up with a plan to correct the problem, but if the money isn’t there, the solution isn’t either.

On Sunday, Corner Grill will close. It isn’t known whether the shut-down will be permanent or temporary. Therefore, it becomes our collective civic duty to demonstrate where our loyalty lies.

This weekend may be our last chance to dine at Corner Grill; we should seize the opportunity and give Cain the kind of support he needs at a time like this. Given enough business, the likelihood of Corner Grill staying open — or, at least, reopening in the future — will undoubtedly increase. Dire economic times affect everybody, and we won’t do ourselves any good to allow the biggest institutions to succeed while every smaller one falls gradually by the wayside.

We are all in this recession together, and citizens must realize it sooner rather than later if we are to prevent corporations and bureaucracies from winning. People can still make tough times work, if they band together to help one another out.

In this spirit, it would be just for the city to exercise some lenience on Corner Grill. The problem has been ongoing, and whatever violations Corner Grill is guilty of probably do need to one day be fixed. But unless Bowling Green residents are content with downtown being dotted by McDonald’s, Wal-Mart’s and 7-11s, with whatever’s left in between boarded up and dilapidated, we’ve got to help Corner Grill.

This weekend, do whatever you can to support this struggling business. When you look in the cupboards and find them bare, consider the hamburgers available just down the road. If we don’t do something, on Sunday Corner Grill may well serve its last meal.

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