retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Since MNB Radio was a little longer than usual this morning, and I don’t want to wear you out or abuse your patience, I’ll just make a few short comments in “OffBeat” this morning...

There was a story yesterday here on MNB about Five Guys outranking In-N-Out in a new Zagat survey, but for my money, Washington, DC, is about to get a burger joint that is better than both, albeit a lot harder to find.

Shake Shack, the popular Danny Meyer burger-and-shake joint that has grown from a seasonal kiosk in a New York City park to a small chain of five locations in New York City and one in Miami Beach, will be opening a version in Georgetown next year.

The even better news - the lines that have typified Shake Shack’s other locations may be mitigated in DC, since the owners have figured out how to enlarge the kitchen and move the customers through faster.

So get ready, are about to get a great burger experience.

There also has been some coverage in the media about the new Pop-Tarts World restaurant in New York’s Times Square. The reviews have been mixed at best, but I especially love the comment that Shep Smith of Fox News made: “Pop-Tarts now has a store in Times Square. Pop-Tarts, crossroad to the world. Pop-Tarts. I say we bring back the porn stores.”

Someone I really respect on these issues - my 16-year-old daughter - stopped by Pop-Tarts World earlier this week. She came away less than impressed...and said it did not have nearly the flair of the M&M’s Store.

Just sayin’...

By the way, thanks to all of you who wrote after last week’s “Your View” to say that you think that the opinions I express here are authentic (not fabricated, as one user suggested), and that I’m not a “Pinko Commie,” which one person accused me of being. The nice thing is that most of the folks who wrote in don’t even agree with me most of the time...but they value the notion of calm, reasonable, civil discussion and debate. I appreciate it.

Last week I saw an unusual pair of movies - one about a lesbian couple raising a family in Southern California, and one about soldiers of fortune killing off about a thousand people in an attempt to rescue a small South American country.

To be honest, Annette Bening in the first one seemed a lot more formidable than Sylvester Stallone in the second one.

“The Kids Are All Right” is a comedy/drama about what happens when the children being raised by two moms - played by Bening and Julianne Moore - decide they want to meet the man who served as sperm donor...their biological father. That man ends up being Mark Ruffalo, charming as the carefree owner of an organic restaurant, and he is an odd and eventually disruptive influence on the family.

I liked “The Kids Are All Right” a lot. It is a little rough in spots, and sometimes explicit in a way that goes a bit beyond my comfort zone. But the acting is great - especially Bening, who is absolutely riveting.

There is nothing at all riveting about “The Expendables,” unfortunately - unless you decide to pass the time trying to count all the bodies that get shot, stabbed, dismembered, burned and exploded. Some of it is painful to watch, especially when director/co-writer Stallone tries to go for “greater meaning” - at one point actually suggesting that one can redeem one’s soul by killing thousands of people. This movie could have been both fun and interesting, if they’d gone for a kind of Seven Samurai/Wild Bunch/Dirty Dozen vibe. Instead, it is neither.

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you Monday.

Fins Up!

KC's View: