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Why Caribou Left: Minutes With the Mayor

The first of a new series in which Homewood's Village President Richard Hofeld answers questions from our readers.

Over the past two weeks, Patch gathered questions from readers, for Village President Richard Hofeld. Now, for the next several weeks, Patch will air a series of video responses to the questions readers voted as most pressing.

This week's involves the recent departure of the beloved Straight from the mayor's mouth, hear their reason for leaving—and what to expect with them in the future.

Marie Butler June 11, 2012 at 12:17 PM
I appreciate the Patch for keeping the community informed with the video response from the Mayor as opposed to quoting him. I'm also grateful that the Mayor is willing to work with Caribou to find another location do they can be more competitive and continue to serve our community.
Anita June 11, 2012 at 12:29 PM
I agree with Marie Butler. This is a great addition to your site and a very nice way to keep us informed. I sometimes like to read the piece if the response is very long, but this was short, to the point, and we heard our Village President say it all in his works. Thank you!
Bob Levy June 11, 2012 at 02:14 PM
The Patch (in General) and Ryan specifically have created the "wave of the future" in providing news. The most important aspect is the the ability for anyone to be able to comment. I believe very strongly that Homewood days 2012 cancellation is a direct result to Ryan's original store and the many comments that "we the people" voiced. My prediction is that Ryan and his efforts at this "new communication forum" will go a long way. Just think if this technique was available to address MANY different issues.
DJ Morgan June 11, 2012 at 02:55 PM
I know that I have suggested the Southgate Pharmacy location to Caribou directly, but I wonder if that location is on the list that the Mayor is promoting? And if not....why not?
Chris June 11, 2012 at 03:57 PM
They didn't want to move across a wall to space that would accommodate a drive-thru, but gosh maybe they'll take a whole different property? I don't believe them. I believe they told the mayor that, but I don't believe they meant it.
LocalRez June 11, 2012 at 05:38 PM
I think it is good to have alternative forms of communication but since we live in a diverse world I wouldn't be too quick to focus on only one method. There are many Homewood residents that have never even heard of the patch let alone spend that much time on the computer so you are only getting a segment of the population (and resident taxpayers). With that said, getting people to discuss the issues and concerns of the community and float ideas is a good thing and it can be more convenient than going to meetings, etc. However, this forum would be MUCH MORE effective for everyone if there was a thumbs up-down feature. People could "voice" there opinion by seconding someone else's points - in just one click - or providing their own differing comments. You really can't gauge interest in topics solely by the number of posts you get. It's also a good way to keep posters on the level through the reader community rather than a moderator so no one monopolizes the forums. DJMorgan has a good question about the old pharmacy, others might think so too but do you want 20 comments all asking the same thing? Right now that's really the only way Patch employees have to gauge interest. A message forum that only has serial posting of comments is definitely not the "wave of the future", it's old school and outdated technology. Time for some enhancements to the patch forums. If you agree please enter a quick reply.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Editor) June 11, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Thanks so much for all of the positive feedback! I was not expecting that, but please know it's greatly appreciated, as is your readership. Cfoam, a "thumbs up" "thumbs down" type function has been brought up before by several Local Editors during our regional meetings. There's no indication of Patch making any changes any time soon, but the idea is out there. Thanks for the suggestion, though, I'll be sure to pass it along.
Southside2 June 12, 2012 at 03:08 PM
There is not adequate turn room and space for cars waiting in line at the Southgate Pharmacy location or the Caribou location for a drive-thru. The Starbucks location used to be a Taco Bell that already had a drive thru lane. I'm not really sure where thay could go.
TeacherMom June 13, 2012 at 12:21 AM
I agree with Chris. Caribou is just blowing smoke...as evident by their cut and paste responses on their website and via email. Also, it is obvious to me that they knew they were leaving a long time ago. The sad part is that they chose to only give their employees 1 weeks' notice! Put another Starbucks where Caribou was. It will get just as much use as Caribou. It was the atmosphere I liked the most (and the employees!)
Blue Moon June 13, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Starbucks won't take over that location because no drive-thru and little foot-traffic, plus they have a store less than a mile away by the train station. The brutal reality is that you can't turn a profit in the coffee business without a drive- through. Just like you can't turn a profit in sit-down food business without a liquor license. And Starbucks is starting to roll out beer and wine service in their stores, starting on the west coast. Honestly, the best location in Homewood for Caribou would be the old Arby's on Halsted. Not only has a drive thru but is on the right side of the street to get morning commuters into the city. Not holding my breath, though.
Kate June 13, 2012 at 10:20 PM
I want a Potbelly's in that Hollywood Video.
Hwood Res June 14, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Did anyone read the Mayor's letter in the Village Key? he totally contradicts himself. He keeps stating that Caribou is moving out due to this being an under-performing location, but in his letter Mayor Hofield states there are plans set in motion for a new business in that location. He skimmed the topic, and if you weren't paying attention you would have missed it. Why else would Caribou close up so quickly. It looked like Caribou NEVER existed in that location by the afternoon the day after they closed.
Cindy Keilman June 14, 2012 at 02:00 PM
With all the talk of Trader Joes, I wonder if anyone is considering Walts Food Center that has served Homewood well for many years. If I were Walts, I would consider all this campaigning by Hofield for a Trader Joes a slap in the face.
TeacherMom June 15, 2012 at 01:32 PM
I saw that too. My husband and I both thought it was fishy. I had heard that there were plans for that building when Caribou announced they were leaving.
FlossmoorMom June 15, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Walt's doesn't offer anywhere near the same products as Trader Joe's. For those that need a gluten free diet, or want a lot of organic options, Walt's is not the place to go. Walt's is extremely pricey and caters to a different clientele. My family has many dietary issues, Trader Joe's is our one stop shop for many different types of products- for example, they offer soy, goat, hemp, coconut, almond, rice and lactaid at an extremely reasonable price. I think those who shop at Walt's will continue to do so- those of us who go EVERY single week to Orland, will shop at a local TJ's.
Chris June 21, 2012 at 11:37 PM
It occurs to me that IF it's true (hah) that the lack of a drive thru is what doomed the Homewood Caribou, the staff at the Tinley Park location had better watch their backs.
SRJ July 01, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Everything seems to be leaving the area :(

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