After more than three decades in business, the Landmark Restaurant is closing. I've never been to the restaurant because it's in Mesa. I live in Phoenix, and I have gotten lazy about driving to anything that is more than twenty minutes from my house.
The dining public is always looking for something new and it says something about both the food and management if a restaurant has stayed open longer than the life of a gold fish. I imagine this place must have done something right to be open 31 years.
I learned about the restaurant closing in the local daily newspaper which included a quote from a councilman who said he visited the Landmark Restaurant monthly. Here's what Dennis Kavanaugh said, "The food was consistently good, but I felt like I was eating at my grandmother's home so I always had to be on my best behavior."
Really? Mr. Councilman how would you like to act in public? Do you want to take off your shirt and burp? What is wrong with being on one's best behavior at a restaurant? Perhaps the red brick and white shutters of the Landmark reminded him of church, or school, but must a restaurant be stainless steel and concrete floors? I'm tired of feeling as if I'm dining in a warehouse.
I am weary of the word hip and modern, of restaurants trying so hard to look cool. I yearn for the days when people had manners when they dined out. And yes, councilman, I did behave at my Grandma's house.
Below is a photo of my grandmother serving coffee to my Aunt Louise. At my grandma's house I did not swear, or speak loudly or interrupt adults. I said please and thank you. I felt special because I knew my grandma loved me. She made delicious potato salad and served drinks in tall frosted glasses. We told stories and laughed at grandma's house. I behaved and still had fun.
This is the inside of the Landmark Restaurant. Sure the china cabinet, white table cloths and chandeliers are dated but I find it refreshing. I'm sure the carpet mutes the noise of conversations and people dining in such a setting might think twice before opening up a lap top and doing work. My goodness people here might actually think twice before shouting on a cell phone. They might not let a child run around the restaurant as if they are at McDonald's Play Land. People in such a setting might have conversations with one another without having to compete with loud and annoying music.
I'm tired of restaurants that look like my old high school cafeteria. I don't want to be served by a woman in a football t-shirt. I want a chair that cushions my back. Is it too much to ask to have a server who doesn't plop down on the seat next to me and acts as if he or she is my new best friend? I'm tired of nose piercings. I'm not hip. I'm not cool. And I don't have a tattoo.
Alright I know I'm ranting. But for a change it might be fun to go to a restaurant and be greeted at the door by this woman.
Usually hostesses are indifferent or chirpy. Would it be so horrible to be greeted by a woman in white shoes and ruffled apron? Sometimes I can't differentiate the hostesses, usually dressed in something tight and black, from the other guests. Today's hostesses are usually young, beautiful and indifferent. I bet this woman in the photo would guide me to a table, pull out the chair and speak politely. I'd love this if for nothing else to look at her hat. She'd fit right in at the Landmark. Alas, that might be the problem. She's not hip enough.
Alright alright I'm dating myself. I'll stop. My friend Gloria says I write if I am an old woman. I try to stay open minded but I've seen the changes of how people behave in restaurants, of the design in restaurants and, when even a councilman whines that he doesn't want to behave, I just have sigh. I just hope the councilman remembers the other golden rule grandma's teach, to wash his hands after he goes to the bathroom.
Finally here is a photo of my grandma holding me. What struck me is how my grandma is starting to look younger and younger in the photos. How the heck is that happening? She used to look as old as the pyramids. And look at the clean white kitchen in the background to the left. That is where I went to the college of behaving myself. Thank you grandma for the education.