Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Stepho's Phenomenon

Regular queuing at Stepho's
Click on this weblink and see what it looks like in front of Stepho's Greek restaurant on Davie St. -- on a regular basis.

I don't get it. It's a Greek restaurant, surrounded by other Greek restaurants that are just as good, if not better (at moussaka, anyway, my benchmark). It's not as if their prices are significantly less than the other restaurants, either. Takis Taverna is only a few doors away, and there's another Greek place across the street, and one across the street on the next block! I've eaten at Stepho's before, and it's average. Overwhelmingly unremarkable. Yet, practically every day, year in year out, there is a queue of people outside their door. Is there a Stepho's demographic? Where do these people come from? Sometimes I just want to survey them randomly to ask why they would wait outside for an eternity to eat Greek food in a neighbourhood full of Greek restaurants? What's the draw? Have these people never tried Greek food? Are they tourists bussed in from the Greekless environs of the GVRD? Was there a drug pulverised into their lamb souvlaki last time? These same questions run through my brain every time I have to jostle my way past the queuers on the sidewalk in front of Stepho's when I take that side of the street. They even had a fire a couple of years ago and shut for at least a month... when it reopened, the queues resumed! Whatever did these people do when Stepho's was closed? Did they queue up in front of their nearest McDonald's?

I'm about to leave Vancouver, and those questions remain unanswered. They're burning a hole in my brain today because it started to SNOW again, and I shook my head watching the Stepho's queuers shivering and stomping their feet to keep warm while they waited. Suckers.