Brian Lips | Indy Week

Brian Lips 
Member since Feb 19, 2016


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Re: “Thinking of Going to the Reopened CafĂ© Helios in Raleigh? About That...

This review was plain mean. I think so many of the comments on here recognize it as mean because you can hear Grayson's giddy glee between the harsh lines. It's one thing to not like a place, it's another thing to take so much delight in trashing it.

This review reminds me of Pete Wells' take down of Guy Fieri's restaurant in the NY Times, and I'm guessing that was an inspiration for this piece. Of course, like so many other people, I was thoroughly entertained by the Wells piece. But I was not entertained by this review.

The difference is that Guy Fieri has millions of dollars and operates in a different world than a small business owner in Raleigh. The continued existence of Guy's Times Square restaurant suggests that his clientele doesn't care about a NY Times review. We can all laugh along with Wells knowing that we're not laughing at the collapse of a business; rather, we're laughing at the silly public who so willing support such a contrived concept. Ultimately, I'd say Guy Fieri is having the last laugh as he cashes his checks. And even if the review somehow brought down Guy's restaurant, that dude still has millions --- his hotrods and frosted tips will keep truckin.

But this is a small business in Raleigh we're talking about. It's hard to make it in this world in general, and harder still to make it in a crowded field of restaurants in Raleigh. I know I could never pull it off myself, and don't have the courage to even try, so I marvel at those who do. While every coffee shop, bar, and restaurant in town is not for me, I don't wish for any of them to fail.

Grayson, I've known you for a long time and I know you're not a bad dude, so no hard feelings. But this article is a bit overboard and coming from a rough place. At the very least, a restaurant critic should give a new restaurant a little time to iron out the kinks before passing judgement. I'll note that the News and Observer just published their review of Standard Foods yesterday, several months after they opened their doors and smoothed out their operation. If a place still doesn't meet your expectations after it's had time to adjust, I'm sure a good writer like you can better mask your delight as you level blistering judgement.

36 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Brian Lips on 02/19/2016 at 3:33 PM

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