With the local professional football team taking a major hit to its national reputation, perhaps we should focus our attention on a different topic.

How about restaurants? Restaurants with awesome views?

Good suggestion. Thank you.

Open Table, the mega website through which you can book dinner reservations at more than 51,000 establishments, recently unveiled its national list of “The 100 Most Scenic Restaurants for 2019.”

Four of them are located in Ohio — and three are right here in the 330 and the 216.

The 100 winners are listed alphabetically, so we don't know exactly where our trio ranks. But considering the number of restaurants in this country, any place on that list is impressive.

Our scenic superstars:

• Gervasi in Canton.

• Twisted Olive in Green.

• Pier W in Cleveland.

It's worth noting that the first two have the same ownership (and both places are indeed beautiful).

Open Table says the list was created through customer reviews. The site created a minimum “overall” score and a minimum number of valid reviews. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the number of tags for which “scenic views” was selected as a "special feature."

Visit one of these and maybe this weeklong sour taste will fade a bit.

 

Incredible insult

 

I'm still having a hard time believing that Kent State University shut down an intercollegiate women's field hockey match Saturday in favor of a fireworks display before the men's football game. What is this, 1957?

 

Slow road

 

Newspapers, bookstores, photo printers, the post office and electronics stores aren't the only businesses to have suffered mightily from changes in technology and consumer habits. You can add taxicab companies to the list.

As I noted on Sunday, local use of both Lyft and Uber has exploded since they entered our market about five years ago. Their rise has swiftly accelerated the fall of already-suffering local taxi firms.

David Bridge, owner of the Falls Cab Co., is blunt: “Uber and Lyft have decimated cab companies.

“Fifteen years ago, I was running nine cars. I'm down to two cars.”

Obviously, given the timeline, Uber and Lyft aren't the only villains.

“When the recession hit in 2008,” he says, “government spending got cut so bad we lost about a third of our business right there. Same thing with City Yellow Cab. The SCAT program is actually what kept City Yellow going for years.

“I did SCAT. It was a major part of my business. A lot of my work was done with [what is now Summit County Developmental Disabilities] and [government-subsidized dialysis patients].”

Another factor in the fall of his operation: the rise of “mom and pop” businesses.

“Thirty years ago, there were three cab companies in Summit County. City Yellow was the largest. I was the second-largest. Then they had one out in Barberton. That was it.”

Today, almost two dozen smaller companies are fighting for a shrinking pool of customers.

These are tough developments for a guy who has been in the business for almost 50 years. Bridge started answering phones for his father's taxi company at the age of 14. When his dad died in 1980, “I took over and rebuilt it,” he says.

He believes taxis offer valuable advantages over ride-sharing operations.

“People are finding out that Uber and Lyft, you can't always trust them. And if you don't have a cellphone and a credit card, Uber and Lyft can't talk to you.”

He also claims taxis are less likely to be driven by lunatics, which, anecdotally, seems to ring true.

“Most cabdrivers are decent,” he says. “But there are some scum out there, I'll be the first to admit.”

Well, the scummy drivers are surely outnumbered by scummy passengers.


 

Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or bdyer@thebeaconjournal.com. He also is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bob.dyer.3