Epic takedown in The Villager this week... Been awhile since we've read an article and yelled yes...YES...YES!!!
Here's some of what Dottie Wilson had to write:
Though I never once dined at the famous “Chocolate by the Bald Man” corporation, this place gave me indigestion, headaches even. While nearby mom-and-pop establishments struggled to stay afloat, Max Brenner was constantly packed, mostly with tourists. These people would come all the way to the East Village — just to eat at a chain restaurant. I didn’t get it.
And with childhood diabetes on the rise, as well as obesity, I thought “society” was supposed to be eating more sensibly. But not at this joint. Struggling with menus the size of a hefty coffee-table book, its carefree patrons were devotees of a restaurant defined by indulgence, i.e., dessert for breakfast, lunch and dinner and drinks. In this land of “sugar on fat, on top of sugar on fat” (read “The End of Overeating” by David Al Kessler), this was an altogether obscene environment.
The restaurant’s outdoor tables, usually loaded with out-of-towners, took up an unusually large portion of sidewalk, and this annoying protrusion provoked many a resident on his or her way to and from the Astor Place or Eighth St. subways. On Friday and Saturday nights, human gridlock was the norm.
Consequently, I guess, a crazy person from a nearby apartment building started to get sick and tired of the music from the place’s outdoor speakers. He hated getting woken up every morning and night by the loud, clanking metal chains and padlocks that were used to prevent the theft of their ugly tables and chairs. Employees from the restaurant who took their breaks at the entrance of his building — smoking and laughing it up till all hours, and accidentally buzzing his apartment by leaning on the intercom buttons — drove him nuts.