Blogs > Jim Collins' Editor's Notebook

Jim Collins is editor emeritus of The News-Herald and also serves as executive in residence at Lakeland Community College. His popular weekly column appears each Sunday in Comment in The News-Herald.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Out with the old, in with the new in 2015

The newspaper business being what it is – or was – we practitioners of the craft are slaves to the daily deadline.
I’m not sure there are deadlines any more, because so much of newspapering is now dominated by computers and blogs. Computers, as far as I know, have no deadlines. When you are finished, you post it, and that, for all practical purposes, is it.
I say that with tongue firmly in cheek, because I do not know it to be true – any more than I know anything else in the world is true. But I know that I, for one, do have a deadline for writing this piece because I write only once a week, and I am “posted” long before Sunday’s publication.
Which is an awfully long way of saying that I wrote this on Monday, three days before Christmas, but it will appear in print three days after Christmas. I realize that I am relentlessly beating around the bush, but I can’t help it, because I am trying to make sense out of the time warp I am wrapped inside.
For the next three days, after I arise from typing, I will be going about wishing people a Merry Christmas. But as you read this, unless you are reading on a blog by way of a computer, Christmas of 2014 is over, and the more appropriate salutation is Happy New Year, which I would like to wish all of you no matter when you read this.
The arrival of a New Year is an occasion for joy and happiness. And it should be, because we all have wonderful things to look forward to in 2015 (that is the first time I have ever written “2015.” I will have to get used to it.)
So I would like to end the old year on a happy note and begin the new year just as enthusiastically on a bright note. But I am compelled to inject a note of sadness. I hope it will not linger, but it is something I must address, so here goes.
I am extremely saddened that the area in which I live is losing another first-rate restaurant.
Dino’s on Route 306 in Willoughby has closed, never again to reopen – at least, under the recent ownership.
Since the building was only leased, not owned, by the family that ran Dino’s, it is my fervent hope that some new, enterprising purveyor of fine foods and wines will acquire it and fill the void as quickly as possible.
Oh, I know, Dino’s was still open as a party center as well as to large groups of people. But one or two folks couldn’t merely walk in, be seated at a table, and order from the menu, as the lady of the house and I so often did.
Yes, there were a few self-appointed experts who could always find fault, but they would probably find shortcomings with the Ritz-Carlton. In other words, there are people who can never be pleased, so I do not concern myself with them.
After Dino’s closed to public walk-ins, I still had the pleasure for the last year or so of having lunch there with the Lake County Chiefs of Police the first Wednesday of every month.
I am waiting now to hear from Willougbhy Chief Jack Beckwith where the January luncheon will be held. Meanwhile, I can only express sorrow at the closing of Dino’s.
There is still a Dino’s on East 305 St. in Wickliffe, and Dino’s still caters the fine food served at Pine Ridge Country Club in Wickliffe, so there will be several occasions when we will be going there. But no longer to the place on Route 306 – unless someone new opens it before long.
Parenthetically, all of the regulars at Dino’s have been wondering: What will be the fate of Darlene, the hostess everyone loved so much and who was such an asset to the place? She will surely end up serving the public in some capacity, hopefully  somewhere nearby.
Will she be at Pine Ridge? Will it be Manakiki? Her friends are waiting breathlessly to find out. I hope we don’t have to wait too long.
Dino’s on Route 306 was right across the street from another fine eatery, the Brown Derby, which is no longer open since it closed under a nefarious circumstance. It burned to the ground. Another great loss.
However, Dino’s is but one of a number of favorites of ours that closed voluntarily –  and for reasons I fully understand, even though I have never gotten around to a final act of forgiveness.
The lady of the house and I miss Gavi’s in Willoughby every day. Yes, I know, David and Mary have a fine restaurant in Gates Mills named for their beautiful daughter, Sara. But Gavi’s was practically in our back yard.
And the wonderful Helen’s Sunrise Cafe, across from the West End YMCA in Willoughby, is closed because our dear friend Helen got tired of getting up so early every day and working so hard.
There are other fine restaurants in the area that have closed, but I am tired of talking about it and get depressed just thinking about it.
Besides, this is a time of year to be happy, so I am closing out this year’s final effort by wishing all of you – each and every one of you – a happy, and a healthy and a  prosperous, New Year.
I’ll be seeing you next year – in all the old familiar places.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Jim,
I recently read your article from Sunday, December 28 and I too will miss Dino's on 306. I worked for Cathy and Pat a few years ago. They are great people and I wish them the best.
The reason I am writing to you is, that I would like to cordially invite you to our restaurant and have a breakfast or lunch on us. We are located in Willowick on 305 street across from Dino's. The CRAZY EGG CAFE opened in June. Our hours are 7am to 3pm everyday. (Closed on Holidays). We are on Facebook. Hopefully you will like us and we can become one of your new friends this New Year!! See you soon. Mary Gorse

December 30, 2014 at 5:34 PM 

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