As a close neighbor of Slowpokes and the eyesore Alba Food Mart, I am very disappointed at how the landlord has handled this situation. I’ve heard both sides of the story and think that Sam Momin is making some serious mistakes in his business decisions. Yes, it’s his property to do as he wishes, within the law and his contract with Slowpokes. But I also have choices where I spend my money. I will not shop at Alba Food Mart or any other business that moves into the building, other than Slowpokes. I urge other neighbors to do the same AND let Sam Momin know of your decision. (See Slowpokes’ Facebook page if you want to hear their side of the dispute.)
I am a Garden Oaks resident. I have always been cordial with the employees of the foodmart, but the center was frankly an eyesore before Slowpokes moved in, and the vibe and feeling of the area has improved.
I hope the landlord will reach an accommodation. I cannot imagine that having Slowpokes next door would not be be a draw to other businesses. It seems strange that the landlord didn’t seem to do squat with the land until Slowpokes improved upon it. I will boycott the foodmart and any subsequent tenant until some agreement is made that includes my kid having a place to play under the trees again. I am sure that I have spent a great deal of money at the foodstore over the years as it is on my way to work. Until this, I would grab gas and then coffee at Slowpokes. Slowpokes adds to the business of the food mart. It does not detract. I hope others will follow suit. Slowpokes added to the number of businesses in our neighborhoods that makes GOOF a truly exceptional area to live, frolic, and raise children in Houston.
Everything I read about this until now was one-sided, but now, I have to take the owner’s/landlord’s side. He shows exactly what was agreed upon, and apparently the tenants, Slowpokes, is trying to take advantage of something they don’t have rights for, and get their patrons worked into a dither on their behalf. The story distinctly said that the landlord could take back the patio with six months notice if they had plans to expand … who in the world would invest a lot of their own money into a patio knowing it could be undone with six months notice? I’ve never been in either Slowpokes or the convenience store, but now I feel compelled to stop at the store just to show them some support.
And, no doubt many of the people that go to Slowpokes could easily walk or bike there, but don’t. If they did, this whole situation could have been a non-issue.
Those of you that say you’ll continue to support Slowpokes, but not the owner’s store, might try to stop focusing on emotion and be a little more pragmatic. The owners have legal standing, and, unless Slowpokes has a very long lease, they may not be tenants for very long. Landlords have the right not to renew leases so unless both parties reach a real accommodation, it would probably be best if Slowpokes just moved.
My Two Cents
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The pull quote from your article “Again, remember you are pandering to the lowest common denominator” shows your ignorance of the education and professional level of the listener base or, even closer to home, your readership base.