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March 17, 2009

If your Restaurant tries to be Green, is it Obnoxious to say so? [Westword vs. The Kitchen]

The Kitchen, called ‘the greenest restaurant in the West,’ just got tagged as one of the coolest restaurants in the Denver area by Westword…despite being green, and saying so.

I’m sick of hearing individuals, and too-cool-to-love-the-planet journalists, rain on the green dining parade. If you’re putting real time and effort and love into composting, recycling wine corks, offering staff reusable togo mugs, paying for wind power, using repurposed wood for your bar and offering local beers and wines, if you’re supporting local farmers and buying local pork, why not say so?

Westword, Denver’s great free indie free paper, says to shut up…and get back to cooking. Excerpt:

The Kitchen, 1039 Pearl Street.  We’re so cool about our wind power and all-natural produce and local sourcing that we don’t have to make a big deal out of it.  Except on our menu, of course…  And our website…  And on the chalkboards in the dining room…  And every time we open our mouths…  Look, I love the planet just as much as the next guy, but I don’t need to hear it preached about over breakfast.  And if not for the fact that the breakfasts at The Kitchen are so good, I’d never have to hear it from them again…for the rest, click here.

My comment on their site: 

Waylon Lewis says:

I’ve been dining at The Kitchen—when I can afford to—for years, and I’ve never been preached to.

Sure, they have modest mentions on the chalkboard menu, menus, etc…but it’s not over the top, distracting…why not make what you do differently known to your clients? It’s good marketing, if not overdone—encourages loyalty, etc. And their support for local farms, what little I know about it, makes it seem sincere, not mere greenwashing.

Watchu think? Good to talk about green, educate your clientele as to what you’re doing, engender loyalty? Or is it greenwashing, sometimes, and just a bit prideful and obnoxious? Comment below?

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