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Does the grid have too many bars, and do those bars show enough respect for the residents around them?
That's been a hotly debated question in the grid for years, and it came up during last week's Sac Press Live chat when I asked local historian and author William Burg to respond to a reader's comment that he was a "Not In My Backyard" activist.
"That particular epithet is offensive and inappropriate," he said. "If you have standards – if you feel that some project isn't good enough for your neighborhood, then that's what you get slapped with."
Here's the video of my question and his response:
Burg said that he enjoys nightlife in the grid, but he thinks many bars don't show enough concern for residents.
"I have this opinion that these places can be run reasonably and with respect for the neighborhoods around them, and I expect that of them," he said.
We were joined by Emily Gerber, a downtown resident whose ideas for the neighborhood were featured in the Sacramento Business Journal. From her perspective, the bars make her feel safer.
"If I'm out having dinner at Ella, say, and I want to walk home by myself, I feel much safer doing so, because there are just more people out," she said.
Gerber though, agreed with Burg, saything there needs to be more retail establishments in the grid. She also would like to see a grocery store and a food truck park downtown.
While she enjoys the bar scene, she said she thinks city planners should do more to encourage other types of businesses to set up shop in the central city.
"I just don't think that putting bar after bar is going to create the kind of community that we ultimately want in our city," she said.
See the full conversation with Burg and Gerber on our YouTube channel. Sac Press Live chats occur every Wednesday at noon on SacramentoPress.com.
What do you think – do Berg and Gerber have a point, or are they off base? Chime in via the poll and the conversation below this article.