The recent closure of the Denny’s on Pathfinder Road prompted comments on Diamond Bar Patch from residents ranging from sadness to anger.
Some lamented to closure of yet another eatery. Others complained about the planned tutoring center opening in its place, with some of the messages taking on a racial tone. Several pointed fingers at city leaders, blaming them for not doing enough to keep and attract businesses.
Councilman Steve Tye took some time during his comment period to defend the efforts of city leaders.
“This council and many councils before us worked hard to find businesses who want to do business in Diamond Bar,” he said.
Tye pointed to the closure of a farmer’s market on the north end of town years ago, as well as the more recent departures of Ralphs, Blockbuster, Firestone, and Hollywood Video.
“Those were corporate decisions,” he said.
The key to keeping gas stations, stores, and eateries in town like the newly opened Julie’s Café is for residents to patronize them, he said.
“We have to do what we can to support these businesses or we’ll be saying ‘whatever happened to D’Antonio’s,’” he said.
Mayor Ling-Ling Chang echoed Tye’s thoughts about the need to residents to shop in Diamond Bar. The city only charges $10 for a business license, she said.
“We are incredibly business friendly,” she said.
Chang said she and the city manager have attended a conference of shopping center developers and she was told that some hesitate to come to Diamond Bar because of the population within a three-to-five-mile radius of the city.
Between Diamond Bar and Chino Hills is open space, as is the case from the city to Brea, she said. The area between Diamond Bar and Walnut is industrial, she said.
“When you look at the pure numbers, it is difficult for us,” she said. “We are doing whatever we can. We’ve been trying really hard.”