Lately, it seems that Austin has won just about every national accolade possible for livability, business environment, music and lifestyle, entrepreneurship, housing, food trucks, and well, the list just goes on. Problem is, the more the country hears about how affordable housing is around here, the less affordable it actually becomes!
Then I noticed that last week Cedar Park was named the BEST city in America in which to open a restaurant. So the luminous glow of Austin’s celebrity is now spreading out to the burbs and bathing them as well it its blazing light of PR.
Cedar Park may indeed be the best city in which to start a restaurant. I don’t contest that. But what this will lead to will be guys from Iowa to Idaho saying “hey, let’s start a restaurant in Cedar Park.” And in a couple of years, just as we are starting to see in the downtown area, there will be overbuilding. Some of those restaurants won’t make it. And that will be a shame.
Cedar Park is a great and growing community. But this recent restaurant designation is something they could have done without. There are some great restaurants already there [like CR Surf and Turf] and more on the way. But this city does not need a restaurant boom and bust cycle. And this will most surely happen, must as it has in Austin in the past.
And this all stems from the relentless buzz that our area gets around the country. We can’t turn it off, but we need to learn to deal with it and keep things manageable AND affordable for the people and businesses already here. A whole lot more restaurants in Cedar Park will mean a whole lot more chains getting tax breaks and a gradual rise rather than any lowering of costs and prices.The population of Cedar Park is growing but not fast enough to support an avalanche of new restaurants.
So instead of touting the award to anyone who’ll listen, the Mayor and his staff should low key this and let things develop at a more organic pace. Of course his being a politician makes that an almost impossible request but here’s hoping.