Food for Pittsburgh Thought

A couple of years ago, I stopped posting Mt. Lebanon-related items here, because most of the highs and lows of that suburb -- of any particular suburb -- are of little interest to readers of a blog focused more on bigger picture regional issues.

Once in a while, however, I can't resist. This is one of those times. Down at Blog-Lebo, we have the most interesting online kerfuffle that I've seen in a long time that doesn't have something to do with the schools. It's a microcosmic version of a discussion that is going on all over the region, in all kinds of contexts.

The issue is this: How much should a restaurant charge for a glass of wine?

Of course, that's only the very, very narrow version of the issue, but the speed with which the narrow question broadened to embrace much bigger things -- how to support and encourage local business; how to deal with customers who critique your work; how to support and encourage risk-taking in Pittsburgh; how to develop "better" cultural assets for the region -- is fascinating. These are all Pittsburgh themes, not just Mt. Lebanon themes.

The background is this: Mt. Lebanon hosts a very nice little restaurant called Iovino's Cafe. I've eaten there. The food is very good. By design, the decor and ambiance are spare. It's BYOB. A friend of mine and three of his friends ate dinner there recently. They took a bottle of wine. They were charged a $4 "stem fee" for their four glasses. One bottle, four people, $16. They thought that the $4 fee was excessive, in context. I posted that I agreed. And the comments started to come in, some defending Iovino's, some not.

Read the whole thing here.

UPDATE 9/20: There's more. Read this.

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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

All opinions expressed at Pittsblog 2.0 are those of their respective authors and of no one (and no thing) else, least of all the University of Pittsburgh.

Pittsblog 2.0 has a motto: "It's steel good in Pittsburgh." Say it aloud, with a Pittsburgh accent.

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