I am writing in response to your story about Beholder [“We’re not quitting. Jonathan Brooks’ Beholder restaurant has had trying first year,” Aug. 2]. As a long-time business owner on East 10th Street I must respond in defense of our community. The problem with Beholder is not the location. Their problem is Jonathan Brooks.
Although it is still a struggling community with issues of poverty, homes within a few hundred feet of the restaurant are selling for many hundreds of thousands of dollars in Woodruff Place, Cottage Home and St. Clair Place. Our business and Audrey’s Antiques are doing well, selling many high end items. Mayfair Taproom, about a block east of Beholder opened about the same time and they are doing very well. Tick Tock lounge opened six years ago and is very successful. The new vegan restaurant, the 10th Street Diner, has been open almost two months now and is wildly successful.
Mr. Brooks’ attitude and actions have not endeared him to the community. He has not reached out to other businesses, takes no interest in neighborhood issues or community associations. The fact that the large painting of the two copulating rabbits now hangs inside the restaurant displayed in such a way that it is immediately visible to all passers-by is like a middle finger to the folks in the neighborhood. Did the writer really need to include a comment [from a customer from Carmel who] felt uncomfortable while driving through the neighborhood? Pretty low blow. Our customers come from all over the tri state area and seem to feel just fine about the community, and after shopping often stay for lunch or dinner at Mayfair or the Tick Tock or the Steer-In. I venture to say it is not too late for the community to embrace Beholder if we felt they wanted to be a real part of our neighborhood.