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Something new is good... as long as its actually NEW!

Tam and I got invited to the soft launch of Wilder's on Main (<---- that link is to their Facebook page, go like it and spread the word.) for lunch yesterday.

It's a new Bistro/Bakery here in Hutchinson, Ks.

It's a really neat joint and the food was spectacular and while we got the food free at the soft launch... I did check the pricing and it is more than reasonable.

The place is really cool and the Garlic/Parmesan fries in that cone shaped thingy on the table were out of this world good.

I really loved the idea that they are set up for breakfast and coffee and doing their own baking on site.

And the crowning achievement is of course the full bar. WITH a lit bar that serves no really purpose but it cool to just stare at. I also checked out the supper menu and it looked like a great place for a borderline fancy supper date.

*** Disclaimer ---> I don't know the owners although I did meet one yesterday at lunch. I am not blogging about this to advertise the place, even though I would like to see it stick around.

My main point in wanting to blog about Wilder's is this, I think SOMETIMES my wonderful hometown, and probably all home towns have kinda a half-ass sense of entrepreneurship.

What does that mean?? I think we see folks succeeding, or at least seeming to succeed at something, so we just copy what they are doing under a different name. And all too often both of the businesses suffer from it.

Honestly I am of a pretty strong belief we really don't need (or even can't handle) many more eating joints here in town. I know, I know the Chamber/Hutch News survey showed that Olive Garden is the top thing folks want here in town, but in my opinion we are pretty close to restaurants in town being a "Zero-Sum Game"... meaning: We don't have patrons standing in line waiting for places to eat. Each new restaurant opening (unless it is something very unique that will bring out of town folks to town) only dilutes the pool and hurts existing establishments.

Honestly if Olive Garden is at the top of your list... have you been to Marcella's lately... I know its not a National Chain that has lotsa TV commercials, but it is a killer Italian joint, owned by local folks that work their butts off to take care of you.

Now... don't take this to mean I don't think folks should be opening new things, but we also have to have some folks stepping out on a limb and opening things we don't have that will expand the number of folks coming into town from surrounding areas. We need to have more people eating in Hutch before it financially makes sense for us to WANT more restaurants.

So what the hell does this have to do with you...

If you are reading this... what can you do?

Just support things... spread the word... Bring your family from Pratt to town for the game at Carl's or to check out Wilder's. Get them to the Cosmosphere or the Underground Museum.

How about this... it's supposed to be like 70 freaking degrees tomorrow for Third Thursday, what if we all made it a mission to get someone from Wichita to come over and check it out, just throw them an invite and let's make it huge.

If we really want more stuff to do in Hutch, we gotta get more people here doing things so the stuff we have doesn't suffer.

I love this town, but want it better as well.


  1. You and I talked about this on Twitter. There is a smaller town perception that landing some brands or chains represent "arriving" as a city. And yet, at a certain point, you're not a small town anymore.

    Sometimes, adding that chain store means losing one of those unique local places. Is that what you really want? Or does the brand name just sound good?

    I plan to explore this more, hopefully with a friend who is in the business of bringing chains to smaller towns.

  2. It is the same way here in Wichita Falls. Even the rumor of a chain coming here gets people all excited. The wait at Cheddars is always 30 min or more on weekends and yet there are awesome local joints that need the business.

    Chains and franchises have invested heavily in research, branding and marketing. Locals often engage in little, if any, marketing to bring in patrons. Whether it's lack of knowledge, time or resources, I don't know. Other times they seems to shoot themselves in the foot with bad customer service or other corner cutting. I think they often in the dark about what the problem is. Where is Gordon Ramsay when you need him? ;)

  3. Great Comment Sandra...

    I do think some blame can be laid on local merchants for "Expecting" people to patronize them and not working for it... but theres a flipside... if folks actually care about the local economy they also need to make effort to keep money local.

    No one single easy fix... but it could easily get better.

  4. Topeka's at a point where we have all the "chains," and there's an active portion of the population who are trying to get back to some really unique worth-while "Mom & Pop's."

    I'm tired of big chain stores and restaurants. There is absolutely nothing "special" about them. However, just because a place is locally owned isn't enough for it to earn my dollars, it (and the owners) need to make it worth my while.

  5. Great points Marc..

    While I completely agree there is nothing "special" about chains... in some regards they do have merits.

    My point as far as chains vs Mom and Pops are concerned is just common sense. So many folks just load up and head to WalMart od Target or Dillons... If we would just consider the Mom and Pops more ... the entire economy of the community would prosper.

    Not saying we should kick all the chains out... because honestly WE couldn't handle the reduction in jobs... just dont forget completely about the little guy.

    Restaurants especially... we have some incredible locally owned restaurants in Hutch... and they don't have the marketing dollars of the national chains... so folks need to make a point to remember them and support them.

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I love the discussion in the comments.. so... GO FOR IT!

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