Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Don't build a Bass Pro at Canal Side - who cares. - Modified by me.I never got the allure of a Bass Pro. When I think of an "anchor" to a retail spot, or a key to the revitalization of our City, this doesn't even enter the picture.
Look I have nothing against hunting or fishing. Some of my fondest memories are the time spent with a family whose annual food budget counted on their take of venison - I loved cooking with it. They also raised pigs. Full disclosure, it was also the first time I was ready to ask someone to marry me (it's OK, I am still friends with her and her sister). It also was the source of one of my favorite stories - the time Ralph wanted Amy to test her sights and drew a deer on a piece of cardboard. She fired and the shot went wide right (appropriate as I was with them on the day of that dark cloud in Buffalo Bills history). Ralph put a leaf in the hole and had Amy shoot again. The leaf fell. She put the bullet through the same hole. Ralph suggested I be nice to his daughter, as she could take me out one nut at a time. :)
No, my problem is that, as my wife first pointed out, we never saw people running downtown to buy doe urine then dropping a couple of big bills at SeaBar or Hutch's or the dozens of other fine restaurants or businesses downtown.
There is a dynamic that works. I have been buying herbs and spices at Penzey's for years. First by mail order, then when they opened in Cleveland. But, they opened this year in Buffalo. Their presence a couple of doors down caused us to become member/owners of the Lexington Co-op. A trip to Penzeys/Co-op/Guercio's is now a regular trip.
So here's the thought: Screw the hard stuff and bring a Lotte/Assi asian market like the one I was at in Northern VA last weekend. Tons of fresh produce. Live fish in tanks. Every condiment you can think of.
That would bring me downtown to canal side!