Our town was always left behind in all senses. We had no big stores, fashion malls or luxurious residences in the neighborhood. What we had and really loved was our local family restaurant, Joe's Tavern, owned by old Joseph. He worked there with his sons and also hired some local girls to serve the meals, especially during weekends.
Five years ago the route of the interstate highway was changed, and it went north of our small town. First we were glad to have better communication with neighbor cities, where some of us worked. We forgot to consider one fact. Joe's Tavern was now located close to the interstate, and in a few weeks we regulars could not find a free spot, especially in the evening hours. I cannot say we lost it forever, but the fact that right after one enters the tavern a lot of noise surrounds you is demoralizing. I was one of the many who liked the quietness of this place, soft lamps casting just enough light for the people to see each other properly.
Since Joseph was an senior, he could not handle so many people and did not want to, so he decided to agree to the offer of one of the America's biggest chains and sold his tavern just over a year ago. Two weeks later, after the reconstruction was done, we decided to check out the new "tavern". It took me and the others in our company to understand we lost Joe's Tavern forever, and that was for sure. The interior was all new, glittering and reflecting the ceiling lights on the floor. The company hired all new employees, so we did not have a chance to find at least somebody we knew there. Even if we did, we did not stand a chance to have a word with that person, as back in Joe's tavern - the unbelievable rush and aim to serve as many people as possible cut down the communication process to stating the meals of your choice and paying cash up front. The forced smiles of the personnel could not buy them the sincerity people had back in the tavern. Our town lost its "dining heart" and got another clone of the famous brand.