Nobody knows the power of the proboscis, or how to deploy an overactive olfactory organ, better than Snores Truly.
So when a pair of local foodies opened a storefront on St. Helens Avenue two years ago and named it Stink Cheese-Meat, we twitched with excitement.
It would be a pungent celebration of the new Tacoma aroma. A bold declaration by the cognoscenti of T-Town that their city could inhale deeply, hungrily and unashamedly.
Pity that not everyone would feel that way — to wit, a local power-broker who thinks “stink” is a dirty word.
Funny how a whiff of arrogance still hangs in the air today.
Bruce Kendall enjoyed his lunch at Stink on a spring day in 2011. But he gagged on the name and felt compelled to write a letter saying he may never come back or recommend the deli to others.
He said the name was “an insult to your cuisine” and “conjures an unappetizing image that lingers no matter how good the food might taste.”
Kendall, of course, is president and CEO of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County. And while he left his title off the letter, Tacoma is a small enough city that he needs no introductions.
He also served up a side of unsolicited advice to the Stinkers. Why not call the place Passion, he asked? Or Passion Deli? Or Passion Cheese-Meat?
“The good news is you are only recently opened and if you change the name now in six months no one will remember the old one,” he wrote.
The owners promptly ignored his passionate advice.
For some reason, the words of Ambrose Bierce come to our mind: “One’s nose is never so happy as when it is thrust into the affairs of another.”
Stink, revisited: Today Stink owner Kris Blondin keeps the letter in a frame. She considered putting it above the toilet as a statement.
Instead, she recently decided to display it above the front counter — a statement of her staying power in the face of know-it-all doubters, and of a food and wine business that has grown better with age, like the smelly stuff she sells.
Blondin says she hasn’t heard from Kendall and doesn’t recall seeing him return. Kendall is in France on business (plenty of stink to go around there) and didn’t get back to The Nose with a comment.
Surely he means well for the St. Helens neighborhood.
Across the street from Stink is the Amocat Café. We wonder if he’s taken those owners to task for portraying Tacoma as a city of dyslexics and/or chronic misspellers.
The name game: Now that Tacoma has re-opened the door to potential naming rights at the Tacoma Dome, The Nose is chock-full of suggestions.
All names subject to approval by Bruce Kendall, natch.
• Port of Tacoma Dome.
• Toyota Tacoma Dome.
• Brown & Haley Roca Dome.
• Brown & Haley Mountain Barn.
• Husky Stadium South, brought to you by UWT.
• Discount Double Check Dome, presented by State Farm.
• LeMay — America’s Car Museum Storage Annex.
• The Aroma Dome, sponsored by Stink Meat-Cheese.
Or even better, this stroke of genius!: We floated it in a column last year. Cocoon the Dome in a dimpled wrapping, like a golf ball. Sell the naming rights to Titleist, Callaway or the USGA. Use it to promote the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.
Would somebody please steal this idea so we can stop suggesting it?
Boo! Hiss!: The Seattle Weekly opined Thursday that our Dome is the ugliest thing in Western Washington.
Ever see your own city’s Experience Music Project?
Seems plenty young to us: Kim Bedier, the Tacoma Dome’s director, likes to call it a “Grand Old Lady.”
Sounds like an ageist remark. Gosh, at 30 years old, it’s not even close to menopause yet.
Bedier explained it to Le Schnoz thusly: “In venue years (like dog years) she is in reality much older than her birth certificate says.”
So, we asked Bedier, how old are you?
In human years, that is.
“A gentleman never asks a lady her age,” she replied.
But we do.
Pop quiz of the week: Which of the following is the fastest-declining endangered species?
(A) Sumatran tigers at Point Defiance Zoo.
(B) Clouded leopards at Point Defiance Zoo.
(C) Lakewood city manager finalists who actually want to be Lakewood city manager.
(D) Number of days legislators can keep dinking around before state government shuts down.Got news for The Nose? Write to TheNose@thenewstribune.com Twitter: @thenosetribune