Enough is enough.
In 1993, the restaurant burned virtually to the ground. In 1994, the
city allowed it to be rebuilt on the condition it not increase in seating
capacity. Oops. While the city wasn't looking, The Castaway somehow added
more than 200 square feet to the main ballroom, increasing its capacity
by about 100.
At last month's neighborhood meeting, Castaway representatives stated
the Burbank facility is the No. 1 profit maker among all of the
restaurants (about a dozen) in the company. Among other claims: Although
average attendance declined about 8% from last year, the restaurant
increased its profit because it increased its prices; it is attracting a
more upscale customer, and to continue to attract more upscale customers,
it wants to provide better parking.
Parking was also a major concern in 1994. The parking lot was, as it
is now, too small. To meet the city's code, The Castaway's chief
executive, a Mr. Tallichet, offered to tear down one of the rear banquet
halls to meet the city's parking requirements. Instead, the city
compromised: the size of each parking space was reduced and a waiver was
given to cover the 60 or so spaces the restaurant was short.
Today, with The Castaway's attendance down, there is no logical need
for more parking. In 1994, to meet the city's parking requirements, The
Castaway was willing to eliminate a ballroom, and it is very capable of
doing the same now.
Enough is enough. The Castaway has reached its pinnacle. It is its
company's biggest profit maker. It is time The Castaway repay its Burbank
neighbors. Enlarging -- and a $2-million parking structure is very much
that -- will generate additional traffic, additional drivers, additional
accidents, additional vandalism on the streets in the neighborhood, and
additional duties for the city's fire and police.
Enough is enough.