Conti: ...we weren't looking to partner with restaurants, we were looking to partner with high-end gourmet food stores.Clearly Garces reads the real estate ads in the local papers; what, in the "Monopoly Opportunities for Advantage Available" section?
Henri: Maybe it's confusing because your first partner, Jose Garces, is known for being a restaurateur, not a grocer. [Score!]
Conti: Jose basically was doing this market in the Western Union building. When he heard we were placing boutiques, he called us.
But this is my favorite:
Henri: Are you surprised some restaurateurs are bent out of shape?Didja see that last line? "...the hospitality industry survives best when there are a number of options for the consumer." Guess that doesn't apply to retail wine and spirits sales!
Conti: How can I be diplomatic here? [I assume this means, "How can I insult your intelligence and get away with it?"] I'm from a restaurant family. I like to tease I'm a bartender by birth. My father was president of the National Restaurant Association. [This, BTW, is essentially Conti's self-stated qualification for his current position: heredity.] Yes, I was surprised. It's a very old-fashioned, parochial view of the restaurant market. Decades ago we realized the hospitality industry survives best when there are a number of options for the consumer.
These ridiculous ideas only point up how ill-suited state-owned monopoly booze sales are to modern commerce. These "boutiques" are clearly an unfair advantage to stores that are selected on the basis of personal choice by unelected, unregulated bureaucrats. The wine kiosks are a bumbling circumvention of supermarket sales.
Stop making it so hard! Privatization would fix all of this, increase jobs, continue the collection of taxes, and put an end to the embarrassing parade of corrup -- er, "the appearance of a possible conflict of interest." The Legislature needs to put an end to this farce, and now would be a great time.