Why we don’t hold events at the Garage

The Garage Cafe asked the MOB to be its MySpace friend today, one of the few requests we’ve ever turned down …

Although we’re flattered you’ve requested us as a MySpace friend, we must decline for the following reason:

The last time Media of Birmingham had an event at the Garage in July 2005, three of our attendees were mugged at gunpoint just outside your entrance. Fortunately, none of them were physically injured.

This was not the first time our colleagues were robbed walking to or from the Garage.

We met with the owner and talked about the high crime situation on Southside, and what business owners could do to help protect patrons and make the area a safer place. We suggested better lighting, hiring off-duty officers for protection and other measures to ensure that customers feel safe coming there after dark. After all, your bar has a vested interest in neighborhood safety and maintaining good customer relations.

The owner said he was powerless to do anything, that the police were solely responsible for crime prevention, and decided that no measures were needed. He showed little concern for a robbery on his doorstep that could’ve easily turned out far worse.

So far in 2007, we’ve held six monthly events and spent about $1,000 total in food and drink. We’ll meet at least six more times this year, usually at a bar or restaurant. As our membership grows, we’ll spend even more at Birmingham-area establishments where we feel welcome and safe.

Given the choice between spending our money at an establishment that looks after its customers and one that does not, we’ve chosen not to hold any events at The Garage until we see simple steps taken by the management there to improve safety in the surrounding area. You’re welcome to contact us anytime through MySpace or directly at mailbox[AT]mediaofbirmingham.com to let us know what measures you’ve adopted.

Until then, we’ll save our hard-earned dollars for the best places in town and not for the thieves.

Wade Kwon
Media of Birmingham


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