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Debate over Wayne Mahaffey's Bistro Rx continues

Midnight Sun's review of Bistro Rx has stoked the commentariat, with Wayne Mahaffey himself joining the debate today.

Bistro Rx is the new bar and restaurant in Patteson Park. Or is it Upper Canton? or Highlandtown? Talking about neighborhoods in this town is like dropping a lit match on an ant hill. But that wasn't the only point of contention for readers, or Mahaffey.

That question is: is Bistro Rx that different from Parkside or Three, the two other establishments that opened at 2901 E Baltimore and closed?

Mahaffey, using his personal e-mail, bristled at the suggestion Bistro looks just like those places.

"Can I send you a copy of my contractor's invoice?" he wrote. "My goal was to have my customers not even think about the previous businesses when they walk in the door, to include decor, service, food quality and consistency, prices, management, attitude and ambiance."

He writes that his concept for Bistro is simple: "A good product at a good price and being nice to people." But this is business boilerplate. Restaurateurs always say they have a good product and are nice to customers.

Settling on a more specific concept might be better for consumers because they want a way to distinguish between the dozens of choices they have in the area. And as Jay Trucker also added, does that mean coming to a bar/restaurant that's more expensive than the neighborhood around it?

The debate is still open.

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