Thursday, August 15, 2013

Pets and restaurant chain names: Virginia did split into two states because of the Civil War, remember

I guess it’s “dangerous” to businesses for bloggers to travel around and write about them.

Today, on the way to Dolly Sods in West Virginia, I encountered another Stray Cat Café in Moorefield, WVa (there’s a sign for it on the nearby SR 55 superhighway), again, featuring Mexican food, like the one in Romney.  The food was quite good and inexpensive – I had Chile and a salad bar.  For a weekday, business looked pretty good.  But I was told that the one near Romney had closed for lack of business. I had reported on the Romney one on Oct. 21, 2012.  The company seems headquartered in Keyser, deeper into the mountains. 
I drove past the Route 50 Romney shopping center on the way back, but stopped at the CVS store, a long distance (two football fields, at least) from that other former restaurant.  I thought I saw Spanish words on it, but didn’t see what it really was. 
What’s this all mean?  In the past, people were aware mostly of “brands” in their own neighborhoods.  There could live plenty of “Tony’s Pizza” places, unrelated, in NYC.  In the age of personal mobility (that's been expected of people who go to nearby rural states for summer hiking and camping)and now the Internet, companies started getting more aggressive with trademark claims.  The net effect is to force would-be entrepreneurs into franchise ownership, where they have to do what they are told with their own money.  That’s not good.

Oh, as far as "running around" is concerned, there's a wonderful watering hole in Warrenton VA (not too far from Shenandoah National Park) called the Frost Diner, where there's always a lively political debate.  But how many more Frost diners are there scattered around the country to be found?  
I haven’t eaten at either the “Lost Dog” or “Stray Cat” restaurant in Arlington for a while, because there’s not enough parking in their small lot, and I don’t think you can park across the street in the Westover shopping center lot.  The Westover Market gets all the social action with its new bar and performing musicians and artists.  Even a couple of Nationals have shown up.  The Arlington restaurants, as I remember, are “American”, in a totally different style from the aforementioned places in WVa.  (The Arlington Lost Dog Café also has a “Gourmet Pizza Deli”.)
Sports teams care about their brand names, of course.  The “Nationals” are not the “Senators”, known for their losing ways in the 1950s, the original DC baseball team.  And in modern times, there is now a fight over the political correctness of the name “Washington Redskins”.

MLB and the NFL are quite jealous of their trademarks.  Just notice how fastidious commercial films are when using any teams in any film. 
While I was “on the road”,  the Nationals blew their chance for a sixth win in a row in the ninth inning, blowing a two-run lead at home. 

Also, on the day trip, past an "Eagle's Nest:" store of camping outfitters in W Va.  But that name is alos a common name for gay bars.  Different line of business, to be sure.

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