A ‘good story’ spoiled by the facts

Sun, 07/28/2019 - 2:00pm

About this blog:

  • Frank Barnako is a seasonal resident of Wiscasset at Clarks Point on the Sheepscot River.   His career in journalism included on air and news director positions with CBS and NBC Radio and TV stations.  He was a pioneer in the Internet, helping to create and co-found MarketWatch.com where he also developed a 200-station radio network and wrote daily columns focused on the stock market, business news, and technology. Barnako describes himself as “an aspiring photographer,” whose work can be seen at frankbarnako.com<http://frankbarnako.com>. He is a member of the town’s Investment Advisory Committee. Email him at wiscasset@barnako.com.

Don’t you just hate it when the facts get in the way of a good story? That’s a remark you sometimes hear in a newsroom, always, of course, with a smile. Facts rule.

But I thought of that phrase last week as I was walking from Wiscasset’s Farmer’s Market to the Art Walk and passed the Water Street Kitchen and Bar.  What I saw could have been a great lead story, with the headline “More people waiting at Kitchen Street than Red’s”.  Now, THAT would have been news, suggesting that Wiscasset’s new ‘fine dining’ spot has captured the market so fast that it beats Red’s.

However, the headline was not printed.  While there were more people in front of Water Street than waiting at Red’s, there was a reason.  They were waiting for a Chamber of Commerce-sponsored ‘Grand Opening” for the restaurant. Chamber members and friends were there for the ribbon cutting.

That is not to say that Water Street isn’t doing well.  Last night, at 8:30pm, the place was hopping.  I didn’t see an empty table.  TripAdvisor has five reviews posted, generally positive; Google has nine kudos. This was our second time, and really liked the kitchen’s offerings (salmon, pasta). However, with all the tables filled, the noise level was awful.  With another couple, we found ourselves shouting at each other.  And, with an average tab of $50/person, for an entree, 1/2 a dessert, and a beer - well, i think the value proposition is not where it needs to be.

I wish Water Street nothing but success - but it still needs work.

Earlier in the week, we went to hear the Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian perform at the Boothbay Opera House.  This rockin’-folkie sold out the joint.  I estimate about 400 people attended.  Sebastian is an engaging guy.  His one-man talk-and-sing show gave us a glimpse behind the scenes of early ‘60s rock and roll in Greenwich Village and beyond, up to and including Woodstock.