Lakeshore/Greater Mandana resident Graham Drake opposes the FatBurger proposal because it would devalue the neighborhood and is ill-suited to the target market of Lakeshore Avenue.

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FatBurger should not be allowed to open in the location where Kwik Way currently resides.

As a resident and community member of the Lakeshore/Greater Mandana area, I can demonstratively state that I will be voting an emphatic “No” on this proposed measure for the following reasons:

1) The neighborhood will be seriously devalued if a FatBurger chain is allowed to set up shop. First, fast-food restaurants typically diminish the aesthetic beauty of the area they inhabit by leading to an increase in garbage, heavy car traffic, and patrons with little respect for the surrounding environment.

Second, a FatBurger chain is ill-suited to the target market of Lakeshore avenue. With businesses such as Arizmendi, Mezze, Lakeshore Produce, and Trader Joe’s, our community has a diverse and sophisticated consumer marketplace that should be encouraged, not diluted by an unoriginal and junky fast food chain.

Third, if FatBurger is added to that block, there will be two major fast food chains within 200 yards of each other. (KFC is the other.) This is not the proper protocol to increase the value of a community.

2) “Lean burgers” notwithstanding, there is nothing healthy about fried hamburgers or deep-fried potatoes. If FatBurger wishes to avoid the moniker of a “fast-food restaurant,” that’s fine, but we, the public, will not be fooled so easily. According Webster’s dictionary, fast food is defined as “designed for ready availability, use, or consumption and with little consideration given to quality or significance.” As the definition suggests, FatBurger would not make a significant contribution to the quality of our community.

3) Lakeshore is a community that is transitioning and, as residents, we have the ability to create the neighborhood and area that we would like to see. We have the unique opportunity to create a special community that represents the diverse composition of its community members.

FatBurger does not represent the diversity of anything—black owned or not. Although most of my young black friends eat burgers, we also like a variety of other options that FatBurger could not fulfill. Moreover, we already have a burger restaurant next to the Hallmark store that is locally run and operated.

In closing, voting against FatBurger does not mean that you favor a four-star restaurant that caters to only rich people. The vacant space need not be filled with a super-fancy establishment only patronized by a few, but it also shouldn’t be filled with an establishment that offers very little to our community. We are not that desperate for businesses that we have to take the first offer.