Fire ravaged the Taco Bell outlet in Montgomery, Alabama late last week, and that apparently left a hole in the small community that may be impossible to fill. But does the loss rate holding a candlelight vigil for the RIP eatery? And just how important are ‘local’ Coffee stops to the life of neighbourhoods?
I say that today’s Coffee spots – McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Horton’s; whatever the brand – are very important to the communities in which they stand. We all know that these businesses are more than ways for owners to make their living. They become regular social meeting places for groups of friends, and rendezvous for business and family ‘operational’ purposes. They give back to their communities by sponsoring junior sports teams and local events. They are truly a part of their communities.
But it can go much deeper than that. So many couples requested to hold their weddings at various Taco Bell outlets that the Head Office opened an official Taco Bell Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas.
When one burns down, folks are bound to feel the loss. And, as another food blogger I follow commented, about the vigil: “A little much? Maybe, but how can you tell people that their method of grieving is wrong?”
There, he struck a fundamental chord. Losing an important part of the community is like losing a loved one. And the loss is going to be felt all the more intensely in a small community that probably doesn’t have another Coffee Spot to take up the burden.
That’s what appears to have happened in Montgomery, when more than a hundred Taco Bell Fans turned up last Sunday night, candles in hand, to say goodbye to their beloved meeting place.
“We are overwhelmed by the displays of support,” The franchise owner said in a statement.
No one was in the place when the fire broke out and no one was injured fighting the blaze. No word, as yet, on whether the Montgomery Taco Bell will be rebuilt. But, if it was up to its former customers, I’d bet they would be the first to say ‘yea’! That’s what ‘community’ is about.
~ Maggie J.