37 Pieces of Flair

Chotchkie's from Office Space
Joanna: You know what, Stan, if you want me to wear 37 pieces of flair, like your pretty boy over there, Brian, why don’t you just make the minimum 37 pieces of flair?

Stan: Well, I thought I remembered you saying that you wanted to express yourself.

Joanna: Yeah. You know what, yeah, I do. I do want to express myself, okay. And I don’t need 37 pieces of flair to do it.

Office Space (1999)

If you’ve ever visited a chain restaurant (and who hasn’t?) you know that sometimes they get carried away with decor. Like an interior designer decided to offload a warehouse full of Americana-gone-wrong to pay rent.

The Simpson’s touched on the epidemic of chain restaurant wall decor in the episode “Bart Sells his Soul.” Moe opens a family restaurant called Uncle Moe’s Family Feedbag with a deep fryer that can “flash-fry a buffalo in 40 seconds!” and “a whole bunch of crazy crap on the walls.” Thank God Moe’s came back soon after.

In the movie Office Space, Joanna (Jennifer Aniston) finds herself in a continuous battle with her manager Stan (Mike Judge) about how much personal flair she should be wearing to express herself. Turns out the number is 37…ish.

Locally owned restaurants generally take a more measured or at least personal approach. There’s no need to adorn the walls with metal Valvoline signs, water skis, and giant bottle caps for unknown sodas. The restaurateurs at the Market Building have some pretty interesting stuff displayed without the overkill…so we aren’t going through 37 pieces. Sorry for the false advertising.

Doner Kebab‘s owner Joe Migdadi travels all over the world in search of great foods. His menu reflects that with a terrific Mediterranean selection but this hand-made copper tray caught my eye. Joe tells me he picked it up 14 years ago while he was in Turkey. It’s made from red copper and it sits right next to a beautiful Arabic coffee pot he found in Jordan.

The Wall Street Tavern has this gem hanging on the wall. This is an illustration called “There’s Always Pro Wrestlers At The Banana Stand” by Jake Fyfe and it’s signed and numbered 88/150. If you’ve never watched Arrested Development you may not have any clue what’s going on…but now you have a great excuse to get Netflix. The Wall Street Tavern owner enjoys wrestling and Arrested Development.

Continuing on the pop-culture theme for now, the owner of Der Frankfurter Bistro is tipping his hat to his hot dog cart that started it all. These Minions are cooking up only the best all-beef franks for you every day. The display is right at the counter so make sure you show the kids next time you stop by.

Finally, our main office has this amazing piece of Market Building history. You’re welcome to knock on the door and check out this receipt from Market Building Stall No. 8 way back in 1896. This piece was a gift from Appalachia Press. The receipt shows the Hotel Roanoke purchasing several cuts of meat from Taylor & Holcomb for a total of $2.84.

So remember, the next time you’re eating out please shop local. And enjoy the flair that actually means something.

Elliot Broyles
Executive Director
City Market Building

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