Tuesday, March 15

the downside of B&M

After meeting Robert-Bob for lunch at Chuck's Hamburgers, I moseyed over to the Barnes & Noble (acceptable because they're blue) bookstore to look around. To be honest, I don't buy much from any B&M (brick and mortar) bookstore other than Half Price Books lately.
Aside: there's a new restaurant next to Barnes & Noble (SW quad of Preston/Beltline) called Tall Boys Deli which could be worth a look-see. It's in the place where two prior restaurants have failed, so I'd better go quickly before this one goes under, too.
When going to a B&M bookstore, I gravitate to the LOCAL section. Today .. in the Texana section .. I spotted titles by Molly Ivins (doesn't care for the Bush Regime) and Kinky Friedman (now candidate for Texas Governator).
recent Molly Ivins quote: "I must confess, I have sadly underestimated the Bush administration's sense of humor. Appointing John Bolton ambassador to the United Nations: boffo!"
Back when I was traveling the world, the guidebooks I consistently liked the best - by far - were the Lonely Planet Travel Guide Books. There are lots of travel books, and I suspect there's a certain personal taste at work when choosing one. So there, in B&N's Texas section, was a shiny copy of Lonely Planet: Texas; I thumbed through it but didn't buy it. Texas is such a huge place that the concept of a "day trip" is usually futile, since it can take a full day to reach your one-way destination (think Dallas to El Paso).
Deep Thought # 62: I wonder if that's how the LBJ Freeway got the number I-635 .. it's 635 miles to El Paso from Dallas!
While online, I spotted a Lonely Planet guide that I must have: the Lonely Planet - USA phrasebook. I suspect it contains many phrases I've never used, but must learn in order to fully appreciate this Land Of Milk And Honey. Perhaps there are regional sections: How To Speak Texan, How To Speak Boston, How To Speak Californican, etc. Hmm .. times for a trip to Half Price Books to see if they have a copy. Guess I'll have to wait for them to open at 10am or so. Hmm .. the downside to brick and mortar are Store Hours.


William Bob said...

The other downside of B&M stores is selection. I continue to be amazed that B&M's don't set up a little touch screen kiosk from which customers can order, for free home delivery, items which are not available in the store.

The modern fulfillment industry makes it possible for Mom & Pop internet businesses to carry an incredible selection of products. Why can't it be extended to the B&M's?

Gene said...

excellent point, William. I know that in my recent search for Kinky Friedman books, it was easy to find on Barnes & Noble's website, but not so easy in their retail (B&M) stores.

It's a pity some entrepreneur hasn't come up with the idea of a standardized kiosk where in-stock products can be easily located (think a store version of Google Maps), and out-of-stock products can be ordered. If I only had a VC with a trillion dollars to bankroll it ...

William Bob said...

B&N's B&M stores used to have a stack of paper maps which would direct you to the major sections of the store (e.g. Self Help, Self Flagellation, etc.). But they dropped it a long time ago.

Pity, too. I used to prefer B&N to Borders simply because I could find the right general area of the store quickly.

I suspect that they've adopted the grocery store practice of trying to get you to wander through as much of the store as possible in the hopes that you'll end up buying more higher margin impulse items.

nobbya said...

Gene Bob,

I was doing a search for Tall Boy's Deli and came upon your blog. You might be interested to know that the Tall Boy's Deli at Preston/Beltline has a sign up
"Closed for Business." This place lasted about 3 months, WOW.

Question? What were the other restaurants that were in the location prior to Tall Boy's. I thought they locaiton they were in was newly built, but I am new to the area, so I could be wrong. I am curious, becuase it appears that shopping center is not so good to restuarants.

By the way, excellant blog. I went to your home page and like the information.

A friend and I have started a blog about our drinking escapades at the Flying Saucer.


Gene said...

Tall Boy's Deli didn't follow the 3 rules of successful restaurant'ing: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. The building in which they were located was a rebuild. The Beltline-facing half has never been leased. I guess they were depending on trickle-down traffic from the bookstore next door.

Prior to the rebuild (the old place was leveled), a slightly smaller building was there, which also housed a succession of eateries, the most successful (based on longevity alone) was a health-conscious place. I think it started out about 7 years ago as a pasta place. Before that, it was a vacant lot.

nobbya said...


I know I posted a message on this article about Tall Boy's Deli, well I wanted to let you know that I am the new owner of the Nick-n-Willy's Pizza store that is in the Tom Thumb Shopping Center at Preston/Beltline. My store is between Dickey's Barbeque and Einstein Bagles.

Come in and visit sometime this week (just not on Wednesday as I will not be there) and I will give you a discount.

We serve baked personals for lunch; however, our main product is a take-n-bake pizza. We prepare the pizza with fresh ingrediants and then you take it home and bake it for 10-18 minutes (depending on size and crispness that you desire).

Come in sometime, ask for Nobby and mention your website.

Franchise Company website is www.nicknwillys.com

I keep visiting your website and your posts always are enjoyable.