As We See It

Fresh & Easy is closing stores; why can’t it be the payday lenders?

(And other things we’d like to see affected negatively by this economy)

This Fresh & Easy, on Horizon Ridge & Green Valley Parkway, is safe from closure, but six others around town aren’t.
Photo: Ryan Olbrysh

If Fresh & Easy were a pop star, it would have to be Justin Bieber. In no time at all, the British-based grocery chain went from "What the hell is that?" to "Oh, that again." Its shock-and-slaw U.S. rollout included 27 new stores in less than three years—just in the Valley.

When word came last week that six local outlets would be “mothballed,” few Las Vegans were surprised. But despite charges of hubris (Fun fact: Parent company Tesco's CEO carries the title Sir), we had no reason to root against the eco-friendly retailer. Preserving the jobs of the 100 employees affected by the closings is more than you might expect from Britain’s answer to Wal-Mart.

So here are some other overexposed phenomena that should be scaled back:

• 6:5 blackjack (Too many tourists don’t seem to notice—or care—that they’re playing a short-pay version of the casino classic. Starve the beast, locals.)

• Holly Madison (Everyone knows the secret to the starlet’s ubiquity: genetic clones. Exile at least a couple to the Pahrump brothels.)

• Payday lenders

• Video poker bars (The comps and the food are often lousy. Enough already.)

• Our beloved “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign (Nobody poses in front of the ersatz versions downtown and on the Boulder Strip. And the absence of a licensing fee for the image is no license to plaster it on every free T-shirt, mug and beer cozy in town.)

• Porn slappers (How about three guys standing shoulder-to-shoulder flicking call-girl fliers at me, rather than the customary 10?)

• Cilantro (It’s a creeping menace. First it came for my burrito, then it came for my omelet … )

• New luxury gaming resorts (Unfortunately, we should be good until at least 2020.)

• Bieber (Obviously.)


John P. McDonnall

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