Saturday, July 27, 2019

No more chicken for you

London, ON
July 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Does anyone mourn the closing of a fast food restaurant? Should we?

Peering through the dirt-streaked window at what was left of a recently closed KFC, I wondered if its disappearance from this well worn stretch of London's Adelaide Street would cause anything more than a ripple.

I doubt it.

I had walked, cycled, and driven past it countless times over the years, and it always looked barely one step ahead of oblivion. From the pockmarked facade to the sun-baked signage that always seemed to be missing multiple letters, it was obvious no one - owners, employees, customers, neighbors, anyone - much cared. Nothing was ever fixed, maintained, or refreshed. Yet, if it was a blight, it was a familiar one.

I often wondered who would eat there, and why, as if you had to really enjoy eating horrendously fatty chicken-like parts to justify stepping through the cracked, dusty concrete entranceway and ignoring the chipped, yellowed formica at the ordering till. From the outside looking in, this place was always sad.

The real estate agency sign hammered awkwardly into scrub grass beside the crumbling asphalt parking lot outside says this location has already been leased. Opportunity, perhaps, to leave a sad strip-mall-retail legacy behind and open a business that inspires more than melancholy and heart disease.

The neighborhood deserves better. So do the people who live in it.

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