Don Your Way column: Will Taco Bell and TGI Fridays create memories for Doncaster kids?
So, that long abandoned, overgrown patch of wasteland between the Vue Cinema and Asda in Doncaster is finally set to come into its own as bustling and vibrant hub of nationwide chain restaurants and fast food joints.
Known as the Herten Triangle (although whether anyone in the town has actually ever referred to it as that I’m not quite sure), by this time next year we can look forward to dining out at the likes of Taco Bell, TGI Fridays, Dunkin’ Donuts, Burger King, Costa and more.
Hurrah, say the “kids,” the ones who will no doubt be spending their spare time and money loitering in or around the aforementioned joints come early evenings and weekends.
Boo, say the foodies and anti-obesity campaigners who would much prefer ‘proper’ restaurants and dishes that don’t involve ordering fries.
Personally, I think its a long overdue redevelopment of an area that has been little more than a blot on the landscape of the Lakeside area.
Shops, restaurants, homes and businesses have all flourished in the area around the lake as it has become a popular place for families to stroll and spend time together come weekends.
But slap bang in the middle of has been this unused, forlorn wedge of land, looking shabby and scruffy and crying out to be turned into something sparkly and new.
Whatever your opinion on the food that’s going to be served up there, there’s no denying that people will come from far and wide and provide a vital shot in the arm for Doncaster’s economy.
Both of my two lads were so keen to try the food on offer at Taco Bell, that we made a trip over to Sheffield so they could sample its wares.
At the time, it was the nearest branch. Now they’ll have one on their doorstep.
Yes, to older generations probably wondering what all the fuss is about, it might seem little more than another flash in the pan fast food place.
But remember the hysteria when Doncaster announced it was getting its first ever Nando’s? And cast your mind even further back and try to recall the impression Doncaster’s first McDonald’s made on a generation of youngsters back in the 80s.
Whether we like it or not, memories are more often than not attached to places we’ve eaten in the past - I can guarantee that I only have to mention lost Doncaster eating places such as the Golden Egg, The Gingham Kitchen, Speedibar and The Vintage Steakhouse and the happy memories will come flooding back.
Yes, they might not exactly have been the Ritz or Michelin-starred, but chances are that just by reading this, you’re thinking back a family event that is linked to those places.
Whatever your view, they are places that will be talked about and fondly remembered for years to come - at least in the minds of the current younger generation.