I came to Fresno in the fall of 1952 to attend Fresno State. I already knew about the Blackstone strip, its indigenous cafes, restaurants, nightclubs and businesses as aired regularly by the late Al Radka. Blackstone was a part of Fresno’s identity.
Succeeding years saw the influx of chains, and Blackstone began to deteriorate and look like every other place.
Now, Fig Garden Village, as we know it, is going in the same direction. A gradual loss of Fresno’s identity. It was most noticeable with the loss of the Bulldog Brewery. A truly homegrown establishment was replaced by a Starbucks. Next, the Ripe Tomato replaced by Pieology. And now, the forcing out of Uncle Harry’s. I wonder about Patio Cafe and La Boulangerie.
With the chains already in force, Fig Garden Village is beginning to look like every other shopping center in every other town.
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Fred W. Fitchhorn, Clovis