As Andi reports, there are still loose ends in the Fran's vs. Hilton story.
First of all, the reporter who contacted me last week has filed his story (as I suspected, I was not the interview he was looking for, but I'm glad to see he found others who could fill out the story). In his article, Hal Koster publicly confirms several things that were reported here and elsewhere, such as the conflict over rent vs. room service charges, and the Hilton demand that Fran's make decorating improvements without a confirmed lease.
More interesting is the fact that Capital Hilton's general manager, Brian Kelleher, has apparently ignored the American Legion's offer to pay half of the cost of installing an elevator (inspried by the Legion believing that was the sticking point in discussions between Hilton and Fran's). Kelleher hasn't responded at all, but they reportedly contacted him again and asked for an answer by late last night. Even if he has no intention of considering the offer, it's terribly unprofessional (and unwise) to ignore the American Legion. I can't help but pause and wonder if he even understands who they are.
Fortunately (unfortunately, for Hilton), this story isn't going away. Andi reports that no less than four press inquiries were made today, and soldiers and others associated with the Friday Night Dinners continue to speak out:
Austin, who lost sight in his wounded eye, is upset about the restaurant's situation. "I don't understand why they got evicted," he said. "Why would you stop doing something like that? Why wouldn't you support it?"Andi also points out a suggestion I've seen elsewhere in the milblogs:
I'm really not sure, myself. I'd definitely be interested in readers' thoughts on either option...
CPT J over at Lex's house recommended that we send Hilton reminders a couple times per month just to remind them of the impact of their business decision. I think it would be more effective to periodically blogswarm them then just keep up a daily nuisance level of contact. Andi or FbL what do you think of that idea?
I'm partial to the daily nuisance level, but I think he has a point. How about "Operation Remind Hilton?" What say you?