Applebee’s in the Valley just can’t be satisfied

Posted: November 12, 2010 in entertainment, Spokane Valley Dining

    I don’t mean to always pick on the big apple, but to me they represent all the corporate/franchise restaurants that have 20-minute lines of hungry Valley folk eager to redeem their coupons or take advantage of the heavily advertised specials. Meanwhile the local independent eateries are lucky if they can fill all their tables at least once during any given meal.

   It was bad enough that Applebee’s trounced all of our small restaurants. Now they are going after the bars. When I owned my place, the Rock Inn, I grew to resent the way people packed out Applebee’s, Red Robin and the other giants during lunch and dinner, but I always took some comfort in the fact that none of them tried to compete much with the bars.

    I figured they could never compete with the locals, and it seemed they did not cared to try, considering that they usually charge downtown prices here in the Valley and the neighborhood watering holes are a dollar under that. They also never had any entertainment and so their nightlife was nill. But now that Applebee’s truly is today’s version of a neighborhood Grille, it wants to bring up the bar part of the business to the same level.

    I will be very curious to see if Applebee’s is successful with their venture into nighttime entertainment. My guess is that I would not be surprised if they do all right. Applebee’s are adding entertainment all over the country and they would not be doing it if it weren’t working somewhere. I know that they have picked at least two good forms of entertainment. Karaoke on Tuesday is a good choice because you can get a great night going with karaoke any night of the week if you do everything just right and get lucky.

    Wednesday with Wii is a good idea for more than just that the name is catchy. Wii is a cheap form of entertainment that is popular and successful in most other cities but the Valley doesn’t have much of it that I know of and so that makes it a possibility. I don’t know anything about the backlight party on Saturday night but I am sure it is also something that other Applebee’s around the country have found successful.

     But the bar business is a little different from grille business. I doubt they can create a truly neighborhood bar because of their prices. People just won’t go and sit around during the day or happy hour and pay downtown prices. You can never call yourself a neighborhood bar without a core of daytime regulars. They are the neighborhood.

   That doesn’t mean that our Valley Applebee’s can not build at least 3 strong nights of entertainment. It would take a minor miracle considering how dead most places are on Tuesday and Wednesday night in the Valley but I say more power to them on the one hand because I like to see places create fun and exciting night spots for all the people out looking for one on any given night of the week. You can find something fun on any night in Vegas, all the better if a person can find it in a nice place to live like the Spokane Valley.  

    On the other hand, I cringe at the thought that a few locals will lose some business if Applebee’s builds some successful nights. But I guess the local nighttime entertainment field will have to get used to the corporate player just like everybody else in business. Who knows, the Valley night scene might be better off for it.

    But as long as city well drinks cost a buck more than Valley wells, Applebee’s won’t ever be a neighborhood watering hole. Success in the nightlife venture, however, is conceivable. I just wonder if they would ever change their name to Applebee’s Grille and Nightclub.

  1. PFC Milan B. Lemmon says:

    I geusse some people can’t stand the competition when Applebee is good place to go to.

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