We are Bob and Darlene Meckes, owners of the Sports Bar & Steakhouse, and former owners of Bayside Bar & Grill. The Sports Bar & Steakhouse was a finalist for Business of the Year in 2007, and Bob was a finalist for Citizen of the Year. Most every group and organization is Discovery Bay knows how much we give back to our community through sponsorships of local events, donations and support to everything from Lions to Little League.
Both your cover story of last week, Nov. 30, and your opinion column by David Rhoads were grossly inaccurate and slanderous to our business. Your printing of Mr. Rhoads' column crossed an ethical line on personal attacks.
Mr. Rhoads, as a member of the Discovery Bay Yacht Club, has no relationship to our business, and could not possibly know the lengths to which we have gone and expenses we have incurred to make Bayside Bar & Grill a restaurant the entire community could enjoy.
It was our dream to have a restaurant there that would complement the Sports Bar & Steakhouse. We'd hoped to introduce a more family-friendly menu there, with pricing to match, but no matter how we changed, we just could not get enough business there to keep the business alive.
After more than $100,000 invested there, and a lease, we found the only way to cover our expenses there was with weekend entertainment, although we did continue to offer breakfast and lunch on the patio throughout the spring and summer of 2007. Both former tenants, Woody's and Discovery Joe's, also found that weekend entertainment was essential to the business.
We have never received complaints of vehicle vandalism, as Mr. Rhoads suggests. We have done our best, and will continue to try and bring the Discovery Bay community a business and a service that enhances quality of life here.
Mr. Rhoads is obviously unaware we have not posted anything on MySpace for more than a year, so any postings there were unaffiliated with our business. He complains that our young people have plenty to do in Discovery Bay and that both our efforts and the planned town community center are wasted efforts.
We wonder what Mr. Rhoads will do for the young people of Discovery Bay. He claims that we prevented a "legitimate business" from operating at the Bayside location, because we own another restaurant in town. The Oriental House also operates two restaurants in town; are they not "legitimate" then, as well?
We did the best there that we could, but when we saw what was happening, and ending with a violent incident, we shut the establishment down, that night, and of our own choice. It is shameful that local elected officials would try to take credit days later for our own difficult decision, made the night of the incident.
We thank the members of the Discovery Bay Yacht Club, and so many others, who rallied to our support when we made our difficult decision. Knowing that the best thing to do when a community member makes a hard decision in favor of the community, in spite of personal losses, you support them, not write slanderous and speculative articles about them.
Bob and Darlene Meckes