The Media School

Bloomington residents split on new restaurants and tax

March 26th, 2019 by

Chain restaurants expansion into Bloomington impacted the local tastes.  Bloomington residents were interviewed around Kirkwood Avenue on Feb. 13, 2019.

Bill Tracy, 52, of Bloomington had seen this before.

“I wish ‘em luck,” he said. “I have seen many chains come and go in this town. You gotta be really solid to stay here.”

Michelle Martin-Colman, 65, of Bloomington raised a common concern about the new chain eateries.

“I wish ‘em luck. I have seen many chains come and go in this town. You gotta be really solid to stay here.”

Bill Tracy, 52, Bloomington

“I hope we do not see increased health problems,” she said.

Stephen Nixon, 20 knew the effects. Nixon put an emphasis on what’s convenient.

“It’s bad for my health, that’s for sure,” he says. “It’s the easiest option for me if I am really hungry.”

Nixon noticed local options have lost luster.

“I feel like Fourth Street has gotten a lot  less popular the past 10 years,” he said.

Martin-Colman put a premium on local options.

“When we eat out,” she said, “We do eat at the local homemade establishments.”

"I feel like Fourth Street has gotten a lot less popular the last 10 years.”

Stephen Nixon, 20, Bloomington reported on Feb. 1, 2018, a food and beverage tax became enacted in Bloomington. The 1 percent is levied against restaurants and bars. Local and chain restaurants pay the tax at the same percentage. The new tax pays for the expansion of the convention center.

Tracy wasn’t sold on the new tax.

“I thought you were going to ask that question,” he said. “I have very mixed feelings about that.”

Tracy understood the tax impact.

“A friend of mine has a local restaurant,” he says. “That 1 percent tax has really put a strain on him.”

"When we eat out, we do eat at the local homemade establishments."

Michelle Martin-Colman, 65, Bloomington

Trez O’Reilly sympathized for local restaurants.

“Local restaurants that’s like not really known, but they are there, are still like, trying to make money,” he said.

Tracy commented on how the tax funds could be used after the convention center expansion.

“If the money is well spent,” he said, “It means more jobs.”

Martin-Colman believed local flavor should make themselves known.

“We have a responsibility to advertise locally,” she said.

Stephen Nixon has lived in Bloomington for 10 years. His allegiance is with Burma Garden.

“I think those Fourth Street restaurants are the best in Bloomington,” he said.

"Local restaurants that's like not really known, but they are there, are still like, trying to make money."

Trez O'Reilly, 16, Bloomington

Martin-Colman enjoyed the Indian food on Fourth Street.

“I have been a fan of Taste of India,” she said.

O’Reilly was excited for the new options. The new Culver’s location at 1918 W. Third St. reminded him of the location from his Kentucky home.

“I like those,” he said. “It’s different from what we have now.”

Martin-Colman felt the best food is served at home.

“I am not a person who eats Five Guys,” she said.  “My husband is an excellent cook.”

Martin-Colman believed fast food had an unintentional effect.

“McDonald’s drove the need for more local and homemade food,” she said.

Tracy planned to keep his dollar local.

“Lucky Express,” he said. “It’s where I had lunch today.”

Martin-Colman has enjoyed the local flavor of Bloomington since the 1970s.

“I also grew old with the Uptown Café,” she said.