Note: Just tonight, I realized that an essay that was first published elsewhere was no longer online. After some searching through the Wayback Machine, I found it again and post it here for posterity’s sake.
This essay is a response of sorts to a post on Scott Greider’s blog in which he criticizes a local Uno’s Pizzaria for looking like an old urban building but actually being a new suburban building. I agreed with Scott’s concerns, but offered a different perspective. The Uno’s in question has since closed.
My friend Scott is frustrated with a pizza place.
He enjoyed the food, he liked the prices, and he thought the service was acceptable.
But he still feels like he’s been lied to — by the building itself.
“What made this place so cool — primarily its atmosphere — was … well … inauthentic!” Scott said on his blog after his visit to Uno’s Chicago Grill in Fort Wayne.
“You see, this was a brand new building out in the sprawling suburbs on a lot surrounded by parking spaces that was intentionally trying to look and feel a hundred years old.”
He’s right, especially when he compares the Fort Wayne restaurant to the original Uno’s in Chicago.
My family and I ate at the original Uno’s last year, and while we ate deep-dish authentic Chicago pizza elbow-to-elbow around a table a bit too big for the tiny dining room, even the youngest of us knew we weren’t just taking in a pizza. We were taking in history.