Yet Another New Restaurant for the Harbor

It hardly seems like news anymore but a new restaurant is coming to Point Fosdick Square. I have to admit, this one took me by surprise...

With all the new restaurants opening in Gig Harbor, what’s next?  An Applebee’s?

Ummm…yep.  That’s right.  The new building going up in the Safeway complex between Opus Bank and the Safeway gas station is an Applebee’s.

I haven’t heard when their Grand Opening will take place, but building construction is forging ahead at a rapid pace.

I had very mixed feelings when I heard this news.  Of course I’m happy that businesses are opening and that Point Fosdick Square is starting to fill up.  Any restaurant, even a big corporate one, has the right to open where ever they darn well please.  Plus Gig Harbor doesn’t have a casual dining chain restaurant like this.

But I fear for the small, locally owned restaurants that may be struggling already from a slow economy and soaring costs.  There is no way they can compete with the big budget advertising, flashy new interiors, and name recognition of one of these corporate establishments.  Or the cookie cutter menu and robotically trained, flair-embellished employees that these places produce.

Oops, I told myself I would try to be fair and open minded.

Applebee’s, and chains like it, are consistent.  You can go to one anywhere and know what to expect.  I guess that is a part of the appeal and why there are so many of them.  It offers a wide variety of menu items, a plus for a large family with very divergent tastes.

On the other side, those things are exactly why I don’t like going to a chain restaurant.  We almost exclusively frequent locally owned restaurants.  I like knowing the owners and seeing a place change and grow.  Sometimes painfully.  There are ups and downs.  I have a huge amount of respect and appreciation for anyone brave enough (some might say crazy enough) to open and run a small restaurant.  It’s an extraordinary thing to do it, and do it well.  Not many can.

My hope is that Applebee’s will pull in people who would ordinarily be going to Tacoma to dine and not take away from existing restaurants.  If residents here can save the toll, why not stay in Gig Harbor?  I will probably go to the new Applebee’s a time or two.  The kids will like it, at least at first.  But I hope that after the newness has worn off, diners will remember the local businesses and keep supporting our locally owned restaurants. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Nic Yamashiro January 14, 2013 at 03:07 PM
I think it'll be a good thing for gig harbor. I think a little variety is great. It will be nice to have a more affordable restaurant here. This article does seem a little biased by the way. I think it should be retitled to "Oh no Applebees is coming. Support small businesses." Like it or not it's going to be a part of Gig Harbor and will provide more jobs for locals.
Mark Hoppen January 14, 2013 at 06:06 PM
I'd like a Black Bear Diner, like the one in Sequim. (I hear not all of them are equal.) Also, I'd like to have an Olive Garden in town.
Michelle Smith January 14, 2013 at 09:20 PM
Hi Nic. Thanks for your comment and you are 100% correct...my post above is entirely biased. It is a blog post which is intended to be a forum for stating personal opinions or thoughts. The only way to tell the difference when it is featured like this is in small print in a green block above my name...it says "Local Voices." Other than that (or just knowing that the author is a blogger here) it is very easy to confuse a blog post with an actual article written by the Patch staff. I have seen this confusion before in other posts by other bloggers and wonder if there isn't something Patch could do to make it more obvious. It seems like an important distinction to make. I appreciate you pointing that out and will bring it up. With that said, you also make a good point about Applebee's bringing new jobs to GH, which is a great thing. My concern is that these additional jobs will come at the expense of jobs at existing restaurants. I certainly hope that doesn't happen and that Applebee's is a positive for our community.
Michelle Smith January 14, 2013 at 09:32 PM
A Black Bear Diner, that's something I never thought of. I would like another diner-type breakfast option around here. You must be right about the BB Diner varying by location, I have only been to the one in Olympia and it wasn't very good. But it was probably 10 yrs ago so it could be entirely different now and my boyfriend says there are BB Diners in California that he has been to that are excellent. We will have to try the one in Sequim next time we are there.
Timothy Carter January 15, 2013 at 01:07 AM
Dang...an Applebee's? I was hoping for something a little more unique than a major chain...oh well, they have decent happy hour opportunities.
jd January 17, 2013 at 05:07 PM
Applebees? I will go there But since I have the oppertunity to Comment about restuarants: I think a good Chinese restuarant would be welcomed or a really "really" good breakfast restuarant. I know we have a lot of restuarants here in the Harbor but I'm saying we need some "Really Good" ones which we don't have or spme that we have need to emprove the menu. A good example is in the last 2 months, my wife and I: 1. Drove to Bremerton to the "Family Pancake House" on a couple occasions for breakfast (great breakfasts & outstanding service). 2. Drove to Lacey to" Meconis" for a Phili Cheese steak sandwich" ( No place in the Harbor can compare to them). 3. Drove to Port Orchard to China West for Chinese food. ( The harbor Kinza is great but no good chinese food here). 4. A good fish or steak dinner definatly requires a trip out of town. The Hy Iu has pretty good fish and chips and Anthonys is good but very expensive for what you get. Again its off to the Lobster shop or Harbor Lights. Well, thats my opinion from a retired Gig Harborite of 35 years.
Bill Brakesmith January 17, 2013 at 06:57 PM
Terrible! This news makes me sad. We should electrify the whole place and use it as a bug zapper.
Damon Adams January 21, 2013 at 01:13 AM
Finally something affordable in the harbor, bring it!
Ricki Kence February 13, 2013 at 11:51 PM
Ricki Kence I think it's great, but I am worried about the parking in Uptown, especially in the area where they are building it!! Seems like it will be way too crowded and hard to find a parking spot for sure!
Been there February 17, 2013 at 01:13 AM
The Uptown Parking spaces are so narrow now, and you know how Gig Harborites love their SUVs. I wish they'd reconfigure them. As far as Applebees goes, the more competition the merrier. Never been to one though.
kay March 05, 2013 at 11:25 PM
Applebees is a welcome addition -- lele's is horrible - panera is good but i need more choices - i am not much into burgers and have heard bad things about other nearbye restaurants. so kudos to the chain store.
Joseph March 06, 2013 at 01:03 AM
Devoted Kiss on North Harborview serves an awesome breakfast and has great service. Prices are reasonable too. Not real convenient for some since it's in the Finholm district and away from the freeway but close to us where we live and can walk to...


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