"You’re the Missing Piece"

What’s missing? What should we have? It’s a favorite discussion of the residents downtown. “Somebody ought to . . .” The ending of the sentence is completed any number of ways. Grocery stores will have to have their own separate post, but what else is missing? While there is more retail variety downtown than probably any time in at least the last thirty years, what is the missing piece – or more correctly, what are the missing pieces. I’ll suggest a few of the things I think we could use. Obviously, these things are available with a short drive, but let’s be selfish for a few minutes!

The card pictured above is the completely inadequate one I selected for Father’s Day. I was searching for a card for someone who is not my father – but a darn good one who deserved a good card. There were about ten Father’s Day cards at Mast General Store and a few at Bliss. There were various types of cards at Rala and that was it. Not one was for someone else’s father. I had to get this generic “good wishes” card and improvise. How about a Card Shop? How about we think big and get a Book Store that includes cards? It’s been several years since anyone tried books downtown. We have a library, but sometimes you just want to own that book – or Father’s Day Card.

How about hammers, paint brushes and screw drivers? Recently all I needed to complete the painting of my entire new downtown home was a roll of painter’s tape. Could I get it downtown? No I could not. With all the construction happening constantly in this small area couldn’t someone make a fortune? I’m picturing hardware with a shot of construction supplies and paint.

Have you ever been to New York City. Obviously we aren’t New York. We’ll never have Broadway, Central Park and all those amazing skyscrapers. OK, but couldn’t we have fresh bagels? You know the ones. They are on nearly every corner, delivered fresh at some ungodly time of the morning so they can be waiting fresh for you with a pretty good cup of coffee for the asking. Why can’t we have one good fresh bagel shop? How about just one good bagel stand?

I don’t go out of town more often than the average person, but that’s pretty often. When I go out of town I consistently have one problem: making arrangements for my dog. Knoxville is trying to build its image as a pet friendly place. That’s great. The new dog park deserves its own post. So we all have animals, they have a park, they are welcome at restaurants, and all that is very good. How about a downtown kennel? Would that be so hard?

That’s enough for now. I’ll tackle the whole grocery store thing in another post. Meanwhile, are you entrepreneurs listening?