What Eureka Needs- an Early Christmas List for Entrepreneurs

     Since it seems that every day I go past another shuttered business, we obviously have retail and office space to spare. Why not seize the situation as an opportunity to fill those spaces with businesses we actually NEED in town and to encourage entrepreneurs to meet those needs? Okay, here’s my  list.

A GOOD KOSHER DELI  Those healthy delis at Co-Op and ENF don’t count. Not enough cholesterol. A warm, juicy, greasy pastrami san with a latke or two can rejuvenate your soul for a week.  The pastrami Reuben at Hole-in-the- Wall is close, but where’s the chicken liver? The  matzoh ball soup? We await our deliverance.

MORE PARKING  IN HENDERSON CENTER  The situation is just on the edge of being too crowded and if the Henderson Center Market Place or anything else ever comes to roost in the old Robert’s space or along Henderson Street, the tipping point will have been reached. The demise of the Go Go Bistro, a nice little lunch spot with an unusual  menu,is truly sad, and I wouldn’t  be surprised if parking was one of the contributing factors. By the way,  it was reported in the media that Esmeralda’s restaurant on Grotto was the target of an arson attack. If so, the firebugs must have had pretty poor aim.  The morning after, Esmeralda’s was open for lunch with nary a scratch but the building NEXT to it, further  toward “G” was boarded up and as of today was sporting a “For Sale” sign. Parking’s pretty good on that block, by the way.

A RELIABLE SHUTTLE BETWEEN EUREKA AND REDDING enabling travelers to bypass our ill-located and unreliable airport. The first person to do this legally will make some money.  There are already wildcat outfits going after this market. Check Craig’s List. And how about a shuttle to Eugene? You can pick up the AMTRAK there.

HUMBOLDT-MADE YOGURT from local cows. Not that frozen stuff, real yogurt. 

TAKEOUT CHICKEN With the departure of KFC (the closest now is in Fortuna) and the fact that its sort-of replacement, Church’s, is execrable, we are left with Winco which is meh and COSTCO which is a whole different thing, being rotisserie vs. fried. When you go for takeout chicken you don’t want healthy, although El Pollo Loco is delicious and I’d be a regular if someone opened one here. Anyone? I’d be a regular at Chic-Fil-A too if they ever made it up here, even with their weird management and policies (closed on Sundays.)

GYROS  Having to drive to Valley West to the Kebab Cafe is just wrong. At one time  Simon was talking about opening in Eureka.  Hurry, Simon! and finally

KOREAN FOOD  Since that place near the Arcata Safeway closed, there is nothing. How can we have an Ethiopean restaurant in Eureka but no Korean?  Bad show.

     So come on, entrepreneurs, here are your pockets of opportunity.  I imagine you folks can think of some more felt needs around town. Let’s hear from you!


The Case Against Flying

Everyone has their own horror stories of flying, or trying to fly, into or out of the Eureka-Arcata airport.  I was pleased to hear, during a recent meeting of business leaders in Arcata, that at least one local company has adopted the same policy I have: no flying out of Arcata if a connection has to be made. The odds just aren’t with you. Actually, I’ve taken it a bit further- no flying out of Arcata at all. It just doesn’t make sense.

Do the math. Let’s say you need to get to San Francisco. By the time you use an hour of limo time to get to ACV, then an hour, at least, before takeoff, then an hour and a half for the actual flight time, then another hour to retrieve baggage and/or pick up a rental car, then drive in from the airport to wherever it was you really wanted to go, you have easily exceeded the five hours it takes to drive. The first enterprising person who starts a shuttle service to the Bay Area will make a lot of money.

Now we are on another chase to lure airline service to what will always be a marginal market. I note in this morning’s Searchlight-Record that Redding is also trying to lure Delta into starting a Denver service.  It is unquestioned that our business community needs flight service, but since the rest of us don’t, the numbers sufficient to attract an airline are that much harder to achieve.  My last vacation started out with an unplanned 10 hour layover at O’Hare that was entirely United’s fault.  I’ve been dumped in Redding, stranded in Chicago, stuck at SFO. I say the hell with it. I’ve flown my last flight out of Arcata. If anyone wants to start a shuttle service to the Bay Area,please get in touch with me. I’ll chronicle your progress with great interest. As for me , I’m going on vacation, a five week trip which will be, like the dodo bird, flightless.

When the flying experience out of ACV is so bad and unreliable, it starts making Greyhound look good, it’s definitely time to look at other options.