Runs On Love

8 thoughts on “Runs On Love”

  1. Went to HS in Rohnert Park. When I tell people I grew up in Sonoma County, I see vineyards in their eyes, but what I remember was grinding boredom in a cul-de-sac… always cruising with nothing to do. Predictably, we found something to do but not what our the elders would’ve liked.

    Fun fact: RP is actually a planned city directly in the mold of Levittown and all the neighborhoods start with a letter. The older ones – A & B sections – are the relatively rougher part of town, while the newer ones – M, N, S and so on – were more McMansion-y. For the record, I’m L section forever.

    Per Amy’s, I guess they were wedded to the idea of being THE healthy drive-thru rather than just a healthy fast food place, in which case there’s tons of competition in better locations like nearby Downtown Santa Rosa. Make senses from a business angle but yeah the whole concept of a healthy and enviro-friendly drive-thru is a bit of an oxymoron.

    1. Amy’s tried to open a restaurant in Sebastopol in an existing building that had a drive-thru. Fortunately, Sebastopol had an ordinance against drive-thru restaurants. Amy’s tried to get a variance from the planning commission but were turned down. It caused quite an uproar as people like Amy’s and ‘think it’s a great business’ and ‘why wouldn’t we want something like that here’. I’m glad the commission held tight and rejected it. Early this year Sebastopol extended the drive-thru ban to any commercial establishment. It’s a step in the right direction. While Sonoma County is pretty suburban in general, it’s not a surprise that Amy’s drive-thru ended up in Rohnert Park.

      1. I wonder why Amy’s didn’t just open a plain old regular walk-in restaurant in Sebastopol and skip the drive-thru part. If Amy’s business model is based exclusively on volume from cars then Rohnert Park next to the freeway and the new Indian casino is exactly where it needs to be.

  2. Insightful as usual.

    The word that comes to mind is context. What is this green business doing in the middle of this un-green mess? When you said “clusterfuck” I, of course, thought of “Clusterfuck Nation” and that critic of our current scale and size of development: James Howard Kunstler.

    This company and it’s eco-trimmings seems at least to be pointing us towards sustainability. But the lines of cars, and a drive-thru, the world of sitting, driving and eating; that very trifecta of American invention, is what is killing us.

      1. I’m not ragging on Amy’s. It’s a good place. It’s better than a standard burger joint. But let’s be honest. They aren’t saving the world with their vegetarian menu, green roof, solar panels, or bioswales. Instead I think it’s a prototype kit of parts that could be reassembled in a better urban context. Ditch the dru-thru, put the same shop in a compact walkable neighborhood, and now we’re getting closer to something that might hold up over time.

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