Sunday, May 22, 2011

Genny's Diner

Although I rarely ate there, Genny's Diner was a Louisville tradition and I will miss it. Their deep-fried "frickled" pickles were a unique local item which you don't see every day.

Owner Frank Faris, after years of battling with the city over his property next door, has been put out of business. Part of it is his own fault: he steadfastly refused to make ordered upkeep improvements to the home, despite court orders to do so. But I think Faris got a raw deal in the end: when he announced his intention to bulldoze the house to make more parking spaces for his diner, a group of concerned citizens got together and colluded to hurriedly designate the dump a "historic home", specifically so he couldn't do what he wanted to with his own property.

And when he still refused to cooperate, a judge ordered him to sell the house. And when he couldn't find a buyer, the judge actually ordered him to give it away for free. Can a judge really do that? Well, this one did, and I didn't hear many people squawking about it.

The way the whole thing turned out for Faris leaves a very unsavory taste in my mouth. It's true that his own behavior is why it all ended in drama and Faris' arrest, but I nevertheless sympathize with Faris for trying to conduct himself as if he was still living in an era when people were allowed to do what they wanted to with their own personal property. Those days are gone, and with their passing we've all lost something bigger than fried pickles.

A gourmet ice cream place called the Comfy Cow is slated to take over the Genny's Diner location. Ironically, they're going to bulldoze it and start over with a new building of their own.

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