Hey. Y'know what really grinds my gears? How they keep remodeling restaurants these days to be all bland and contemporary while taking out all of the theming and charm.
I dunno if this is just a regional thing, and it's probably just a U.S. thing, so this won't be relevant to everyone. I'm gonna focus on three big chain restaurants as examples.
I've been a regular customer of Black Angus steakhouse for almost 30 years, and I've always loved the atmosphere. It manages to upscale while keeping a rustic, wild west, cowboy motif. With the wood paneling and the thick, solid wood tables with the unfinished look, coated with a clear resin finish, the atmosphere made you feel like you were dining at a horse stable. It made you feel like you should tie up your horse at the hitching post before you sit down. It made you feel just a little bit like a cowboy cooking grits in your cast iron skillet over a campfire on the open range. It was brilliant.
Yesterday, I went in there, and they had completely remodeled the interior since the last time I was there. As expected, every trace of cowboy western decor is gone. It's just plain, bland, ordinary, neutral, ultra-modern, contemporary crap. It just looks like Denny's now, albeit slightly fancier. The tables are just that fake wood laminate with the strip of black rubber around the edge. There's no western feel at all. It's just garbage. I'm really upset by it.
I wouldn't be quite so upset if this wasn't a rampant trend. Every restaurant is doing this these days. For years I've been watching with disappointment and rage as restaurants remodel and strip away every shred of unique theming and charm. The Olive Garden used to look like a quaint Tuscan villa. Made you feel like your were eating in a wine vineyard. Now it looks like the waiting room at a dentist's office. Red Lobster used to look like you were dining on the deck of clipper ship. It had shiplap walls and fishing nets and rigging. Now it just looks like everything else--no theming at all. Why the f*ck are restaurants doing this?! Where in the hell are the getting this cockamamie idea that they have to gut all the theming and make it look like a doctor's waiting room in order to stay relevant?! Why are restaurants completely against theming and unique decor now?! Or is it that people actually want this?! If so, then what the f*ck is wrong with everybody?! Why can't we have themed restaurants?! Why can't we have unique atmospheres?! We should have more theming, not less! I want restaurants that look like castles and pirate ships and rustic cabins and wild west saloons and pagodas and futuristic space stations! Why does everything just have to be this boring, sterile, bland, contemporary crap?! What's wrong with themes?!! Why does everything have to look the same?! They've even stripped away almost all of the theming at places like Las Vegas, and even theme parks! THEME PARKS. There's no theming left at THEME PARKS!! Why has theming become so unpopular now? Themes are awesome! What's wrong with this world?! WHAT THE F*CK?! CELESTIA DAMMIT!
I HATE IT!! AAAHHHHRRR!!!!!