If there is any praise left it must be set at the feet of this young woman,
who faced with adversity and suffering that would have crippled most, managed
to keep her faith in herself and her parents and not turn into a bitter or hopeless
individual. Her strength is admirable.
Last, but clearly not least, praise goes to President Clinton for using his
executive powers to help a small family, suffering in a real tragedy and turning
around one of the most horrific stories imaginable.
I wish I could have helped return Kemba to Gus and Odessa Smith. I know God
David P. Baugh
Editor's Note: Another correction Mr. Baugh attended Coe College, not "Cole
College." Style regrets the errors.
Readers Debateÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Julian's Review (Redux)
The letter by Tony Potter in your March 12 publication on Julian's was exactly
what Richmond does not deserve: an old-school Richmonder saying "how dare you"
about a review of a local restaurant by one of your critics.
Just because a restaurant has been there for two generations does not give
it immunity from serving a bad meal or for having a negative review written
about it. What Mr. Potter is saying is that since Style is a Richmond paper,
it should give all locally owned businesses sparkling reviews, regardless of
the quality or service they give your critics.
If your paper were to write articles based on good-old-boy theories like this,
I surely would not trust any review in your paper. I also do not see how one
bad review on a local restaurant favors the chain restaurants in any way, as
we have quite a selection in town of local restaurants to enjoy that are keeping
up with their quality to stay competitive in the local marketplace. Style, keep
up the good work, and I surely do not see any reason to apologize for your critic's
I was saddened to see the recent review of Julian's restaurant in your magazine.
Although personal opinions are the essential basis for all restaurant reviews,
this review seems particularly mean-spirited and sarcastic. In the last year,
I've eaten at both locations enough to be confident Julian's did not deserve
this type of below-the-belt hit.
Small family-run businesses are paramount to the unique identity of our restaurant
community. We tend to take for granted the wonderful array of restaurants we
have for Richmond's small size. Sure, we have national chains like any other
city, and they also have their place. However, we are very fortunate to have
an especially large ratio of independently owned restaurants when compared with
other East Coast cities. This is something worth celebrating and protecting.
Objective reviewers serve an important function. Great restaurants deserve
recognition and the increase in business these reviews can bring them. Critical
reviews should challenge those "less-than-great" establishments to raise their
service standards and quality by offering specific measures for improvement.
Vindictive reviews really do our community a great disservice and can cripple
the health of local industry.
I hope in the future you will permit another writer to again review Julian's
with a more fair-minded and responsible approach. In the meantime, I plan to
skip articles with Mr. Stamper's name attached to them.
I am an avid reader of Style. Most of all, I look forward to reading the weekly
restaurant review. I have enjoyed this section of your publication for several
years (almost 10!) until the Feb. 26 review titled "Red, White and Brown."
Let me start by saying that I am not writing this response to bash Style Weekly
or even the writer of this article. I have read several reviews that have not
been good. However, I feel that this article and review of Julian's Restaurant
was unacceptable and downright offensive. The first sentence of the review indicates
that the writer obviously went to the restaurant with a bad taste in his mouth
before he sat down: "I went to Julian's twice to make sure it was that bad."
Give me a break!
Julian's Restaurant has been a Richmond tradition for over 70 years. Julian's
has been family-owned and operated for over three generations. They have continued
to contribute to this Richmond community with jobs, taxes, and not to mention
good food and fun times for numerous families, neighbors and friends.
I don't think this article was written to be personal but it sure reads that
way. Julian's Restaurant will be just fine and probably prosper even more as
a result of this review. But I would hate to see what one person's account of
a negative dining experience could do to a place not as established or respected
All I ask is that you reconsider publishing such negativity in the future.
A little constructive criticism is fine and completely acceptable in a review,
but please think about what the real purpose of this publication, and a review,
is meant to be.
John J. Pizzola
Was Randall Stamper critiquing a restaurant or did he have a personal vendetta
against Julian's? I read your restaurant review every week, and let me say,
I have never read a more negative one. Julian's has been one of my favorite
restaurants for the past 40-plus years. In all those years I have never had
a bad experience with the food or the staff.
If Mr. Stamper thinks he has done harm to Julian's, forget it! I have been
back since the review and the place was packed with happy, satisfied customers.
Gloria S. Bareford
Personally, I was pleased to see Julian's get the negative review it deserves.
Richmond's food critics tend to be far too lenient with local eateries. Moving
back after several years in a larger city, I quickly learned not to trust their
reviews. Until Richmond is willing to hold its restaurants to higher standards,
we will continue to suffer mediocre meals at high prices. So bravo, and I hope
to see more honest assessments of local food establishments in future issues