One of the hallmarks of Watertown was that it was a sleepy, safe, family friendly place. I know that The Old Country Buffet went out of business due to bankruptcy and it looks like Friendly’s lease is about to expire soon but The Old Country Buffet was a place that working families could take their kids out to dinner because it was affordable. There were plenty of choices and let’s just say it was far from swanky so working families could go in their sweats and their kids could be a bit noisy without too many people being offended. Senior Citizens on a fixed income used to take advantage of their all you could eat buffet and eat enough for lunch and dinner.
I know The Old Country Buffet isn’t coming back and I’m not saying we should have something exactly like it but it would be nice if we did reserve some space for restaurants that don’t charge approximately $35 for a roasted chicken.
While a nightclub like bowling alley may bring in more profit and tax revenue than a traditional bowling alley, its not family friendly nor is it family affordable. This type of bowling alley has a limited target market. I think a nice bowling alley that serves pizza would attract a wider array of people across the age spectrum and could bring in a fair amount of profit and tax revenue based on volume because it would appeal to a wider target market.
I guess there’s always Lanes & Games in Cambridge for Watertown’s families and the new theater will offer movie selections for all ages but the people of Watertown are giving up a lot for this project and others in terms of becoming a more urban environment.
Since the RMUD project – the Arsenal Mall – is supposed to be mixed use, can it also be mixed income so those of us who will be retiring soon and reduced to living on Social Security alone, those who have a family with more than one child, or those who work in jobs that don’t command a high tech salary can also afford to do some enjoyable things in Watertown? I think the RMUD Project developers and other developers owe the citizens of Watertown restaurants and recreational opportunities across the income spectrum so that ALL the citizens of Watertown will receive some benefit from this development.
Diane Crowley, LMT