(Source) CBS 2′s Marissa Bailey takes a look at the impact it’s having on Lakeview. Panera Bread reopened as “Panera Cares” on June 21. The new concept meant that customers would pay what they could. If they couldn’t pay anything, the meal was free. Sally Figliulo has lived in Lakeview for 12 years and says that since Panera Cares opened, she feels unsafe. “It’s just kind of scary,” she said. “A crowd of guys won’t let you through a sidewalk. That’s invasive.”
But that’s not all. It seems businesses around the Diversey and Clark location have made visible changes. One business has recently added a gate. Trash was also seen piling up on a stoop just a few feet from the café. Bruce Beal has lived in Lakeview for 12 years as well. He says the neighborhood is safe and a few outspoken neighbors are just worried about property value. “I don’t see any more of that now than I saw before at all,” he said. “Before it was all relatively affluent neighbors and now it’s a mix of affluent neighbors and folks that aren’t as affluent.”
Ald. Tom Tunney says he’s received some complaints from neighbors but the Panera Cares location is evolving. “It’s kind of a live-and-let-live corner,” Tunney said. The Panera Cares concept “is a work in progress, and I know Panera is concerned. They want to make it successful for the neighborhood and for the company.” Panera Bread area director Jeff Harman agrees. “The concerns of the community are my concerns,” said Harman. “If they’re feeling it, we want to understand it, and we’re committed to investigating as thoroughly as we can and then take the steps to eradicate it.” Chicago Police have met with community leaders about the concerns. They say they’re enlisting the help of the Department of Family and Support Services to assist homeless in the area. Police say there is no way to prove an increase in crime in the area is directly affected to the opening of the store.
So let me see if I fully understand this. Panera opened up a new restaurant that lets you decide whether or not you want to pay for your food, which means virtually no one will ever pay for their food, and everyone is now shocked that Clark and Diversey has turned into a bum paradise? What the fuck planet am I living on? Who didn’t see this coming from ten million miles away? And I don’t want to side with these stuck up white pussies that are basically scared of any minority or homeless person stepping foot on the north side, but they sort of have a point. This is just stupid. Its a soup kitchen. Plain and simple. Its like when Major Colvin opens up Hamsterdam in the Wire. What homeless person wouldn’t want to actually eat human food for a change? It would be like a bar giving away free booze then being upset when everyone pukes and gets in fights. The fact that someone, anyone, thought this idea would work in Lakeview of all places is the height of idiocy. Just throw a bunch of half eaten bread bowls in the alley and let bums find that shit on their own. That’s how its been done for millions of years, why change it up now?
PS – The two people they picked to interview absolutely nailed it. Sally Figluilo basically coming up with as many ways to say “I Don’t like black people” as humanly possible.“It’s just kind of scary,” “A crowd of guys won’t let you through a sidewalk”. “That’s invasive.”
And Bruce Beal, the man who wears a red shirt, red flannel, and red corduroys without a hint of irony. So fucking cocky.