Heritage Park's Romantic Restaurant

I went and walked around Capitol Lake last night. I have some mixed feelings about Heritage Park, but there are many things I really like about it. I like the nutria, I like the apostrophe-shaped thing that goes out over the water, I like the brick sidewalks and little wooded spots. I don't know if I like them in the range of the 18 million dollars that it cost, but I like them.
Wandering around at dusk, I ended up over by the old train depot. (That white building off Water St. by the train tracks) I think the General Administration offices used to be housed there, but right now nothing is housed there except some spiders, and possibly a skillful squatter or two. It is totally deserted. I have no idea why.
I looked in the windows and it is actually really nice inside as well. It seems like a terrible waste of great real estate.
It would make a really beautiful restaurant. If I ran it, the restaurant would be cheap, yet romantic. That is something we have a lack of in Olympia, I think. Romantic places. I know the idea of a romantic restaurant is not very revolutionary. But it would be so nice.
Besides the obvious it-being-on-a-lake, there are some other factors with great romantic potential there.
The location is very romantic. Its not really on a street. Its more on the park itself, so it would has this very comforting style where you could sort of accidentally wander upon the restaurant. Romantic as hell.
You could use the back parking lot (currently piles of dirt and rubble) for a veranda. We need more places with outdoor seating in this town. Outdoor seating is so romantic.
Its also next to the raiload tracks so the occasional little train might come drifting by at 2 miles per hour and you could watch them coupling cars in the "yards", and then heading off through the tunnel, towards the Port. Its all romance.
Since the property is owned by the state of Washington, maybe the revenue from the restaurant could be used for some sort of project. Maybe the place could be a vocational program- staffed by kids coming out of foster care, or folks transitioning off the streets.
Maybe you could order New Orleans red beans and rice for $1.50 per plate, making the place accessible to the frugal and humble alike. Somehow it must be in keeping with the Olympia Way: "Inclusive and empowering."(Crenshaw Sepulveda)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A plate of New Orleans red rice and beans for a buck and a half sign me up. A particularly nutritious meal when it is 40 weight hard outside. I've often wondered about that building and why it is not used for something, anything.

The idea of turning it into a romantic restaurant is terrific and made more terrific in that is could fill some social needs. I know at Bates Vocational College in Tacoma they had a culinary program that provided meals for their cafeteria. The food was usually great and the prices very modest. The students got to try out their cooking skills and they got good feedback from the customers. The public was welcome and many a senior and low income person enjoyed a fine meal there.

The notion of providing a place to eat along with a program where people could get skills and employment is great. I'm wondering if a proposal could be made to the DVR in this state to consider such a usage. Some how in a department devoted to vocational rehabilitation they could provide some programs that would target our people living on the streets. Much is being done targeting those that have recently lost jobs, but I haven't seen anything about voc. rehab for our street people. This could be a good start.

I like that people actually walk around this town and observe things. Observe and ask questions. And dream. How long has that structure sat vacant? Why is such a structure, in such a wonderful location doing nothing for the community. (aside from housing the crafty squatter).

A resturant that provides good simple food at a good price with wonderful ambiance would be terrific, and, indeed, inclusive and empowering. I guess I need to get off my duff and make some inquiries. I think I know who to approach, or at least some one who could guide me.

CS ^@^

10:01 PM  

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