Dennis Lange is pictured at Pumpernickel's Deli and Cafe on Collingwood Boulevard Tuesday, February 20, 2018 in Toledo. He will be closing the business at the end of the month.
Anytime a neighborhood restaurant closes, especially one that has been associated with a neighborhood’s revitalization like Pumpernickel’s, it’s a loss to Toledo.
Pumpernickel’s Deli & Cafe, 2489 Collingwood Blvd., is set to close at the end of the month. Owner Dennis Lange, 65, said the restaurant suffered in recent years from a general lack of business.
Mr. Lange theorized that people don’t have the time to sit down for lunch anymore. It is also the case that while some can, many people who live in the Old West End can’t afford lunches out.
Comments on Facebook reveal that some people chose not to patronize Mr. Lange’s restaurant because he is well known for being Republican — i.e., pro-Donald Trump. That might tell you something more about small-minded people than it does about the state of urban recovery in Toledo.
The Old West End is Toledo’s most prominent central city neighborhood and if it doesn’t have the economic vitality to support multiple eateries at the key intersection, Collingwood and Delaware Avenue, then Toledo has to take stock again of how to protect and grow its old city neighborhoods.
Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, now in his second month on the job, still doesn’t have an economic development director. Even without such a director, Mr. Kapszukiewicz needs to have someone in his well-staffed offices get briefed on the circumstances of Pumpernickel’s closing and start a discussion about what the city should be doing to help small business and improve that particular business corner for those who remain,
Other neighborhoods aiming for restoration — Five Points, Lagrange, Library Village, Historic South, Junction, Starr & Main — are taking note.
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