Welcome to McKinney’s Restaurant Ruse

Stop me if you have heard this one. Two guys walk into a bar.

One says, hey, have you heard McKinney is going to have a Restaurant Row?

Cool. What is a Restaurant Row?

Well, it’s a group of restaurants kind of clustered together.

Doesn’t McKinney have several spots like that? It seems like there are a handful of pods already.

Sure, but this “new “idea is going to have a giant magnet attached to it.

What do you mean?

Well, it’s going to pull in all kinds of corporate businesses.


Yes, corporate businesses are telling just one councilman that they are reluctant to move their locations to McKinney because there are not enough restaurants for their employees to eat at lunch.

How many?

How many what?

How many businesses are tethered to their locations and unwilling to move here unless there are restaurants without any other factors being as important?

Dunno. Councilman Pogue made it sound like Carl Sagan talking about the stars in the universe: billions and billions.

Did he get specific? Did he provide a number? Did anyone else get this corporate inside informatoin or mandate? Did the MEDC say McKinney has an IF-THEN-ElSE issue regarding this chicken and egg conundrum?

Dunno. Didn’t really say. Except for Councilmember Day. I’ll get to him in a minute, but now your questions have me wondering how this came about. Supposedly there is a Retail Coach Study that screams for restaurants to seed the corporate relocation boom that is apparently dormant right now.

Was Retail Coach there to make the case or to provide suggestions since they are supposed to be pretty familiar with McKinney.

Don’t think so.

With the thousands of dollars and thousands of hours spent on the Comprehensive Plan, was Restaurant Row mentioned in any way?

I don’t recall. But they are talking about three primary corridors right now, and maybe a fourth. It’s the kind of topic that fits within a council retreat setting, but I don’t recall it being brought up last January. It just came as a vision to Mr. Pogue, I guess.

So, what are they going to do with this Restaurant Row idea?

Well, they are going to study it.

OMG, they aren’t going to go through an elaborate RFP process and study it to death, are they?

Yes, the staff was given the directive to start a process that will go deep into next February.

But I thought the staff was overworked to the point of exhaustion.

I thought so, too. But all it takes is for a random idea to be pitched into the internal wheels of progress and, bam!, off they go on another rabbit chase.

Doesn’t anybody on the Council know how to say no.

No. It just takes two members to put something on the agenda and before long they are shooting Tee-Shirt cannons like at the American Airlines Center when the Mavericks or Stars are playing.

Whoa! Is this going to be one of those deals where everybody knows the outcome, and the study is just for show?

Well, I wondered about that. The first thing they wanted to do is appoint a Council Committee to be a “sounding board.” That’s code for we want to do this in secret.

What happened?

Fortunately, the Mayor made a good argument for why this should be staff driven all the way to decision time and then the entire Council be party to the deliberation process.

Ouch! I’ll bet that screwed the goose.

No doubt.

Are you sure this isn’t just a ploy on Councilman Pogue’s part? I hear he is running for mayor and already wants the throne or to prove his butt fits the seat, taking advantage of his position to promote himself.

Not sure, but it sure looks suspicious. Every agenda seems loaded to the brim. The MEDC has a new Executive Director and a board you’d think would bring up this idea if the time was right. And then Clark Kent rips open his suit to expose the big S.

Wait. This isn’t a deal being engineered to serve friends or family of Councilman Pogue, is it?

Holy Cow! I can’t believe you asked that. The very last question from Council Pogue to the staff and Council was what about a landowner with no knowledge of the Restaurant business who wanted to bid?

I’ll bet this is a wired deal. Doesn’t pass the smell test to me.

Me either.

What were you going to say about Councilman Day?

Don Day is smart and blunt. When he speaks, it is usually with something profound and straight to the point.

What did he say?

After the circuitous discussion went on for some time, he recapped his credentials, cut to the chase and said, and I am paraphrasing, that you can study this to death but I can tell you right now the two most viable locations are downtown McKinney and Gateway.

Makes sense.







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