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Convenience has more quality but less convenience than the old daysFree Access


There are many things in society that people just stopped doing, things they used to do all the time, and nobody really notices. When Grouchy was a kid, girls wore dresses, and then they stopped, men took off their hats when they entered a building, but they no longer do that. Grouchy wasn’t too bothered when these changes came about, but one change Grouchy doesn’t like, happened with 24-hour-restaurants. Where do they go?

There seems to be a crisis going on with restaurants. They can’t get and keep good help and they can’t stay open like they used to. Fifty years ago, there were ten restaurants that stayed open 24-hours in Rapid City even though the city only had half the population. When COVID hit restaurants like Perkins and Denny’s stopped staying open 24 hours, and now that COVID is not resulting in social distancing or lockdowns, these restaurants have not reopened for 24 hours. Denny’s has left Rapid City altogether.

Another thing that used to be open 24-hours was convenience stores. Being open when you needed them was once considered an integral part of the convenience. Not anymore. Again, COVID contributed to this change, but since COVID, the unwillingness of workers to work for cheap wages has made help hard to come by. Some people interpret that to mean people don’t want to work, when it is just as much as businesses don’t want to pay their help. Whatever the case, convenience stores are no longer convenient after it gets dark.

Convenience stores were actually invented by a Native American, Tom Love, enrolled member of the Chicksaw Nation of Oklahoma back in 1972. Many items offered in convenience stores were marked up, as you were paying extra for the convenience. But that trend has changed recently. For example, a can of tea at either of the two convenience stores up in Hill City will cost you 99 cents, but that same can at Krull’s grocery will cost you $1.29.

Down in Rapid City the chicken wings you get at the Sinclair at the corner of Elk Vale and Eglin, are about as good as you get at any restaurant. Trick there is, you better get to them early, because they go quick. The Deli at the Common Cents on Highway 44 and Elk Vale is also pretty high quality compared to what convenience stores used to offer. But, like with the Sinclair, you get to the breakfast burritos and hot dogs quick, because once they sell out, they are not replaced.

One product the convenience stores have not mastered is pizza. They can offer it, but it isn’t the same quality you will get at traditional pizza restaurant or delivery service. You can get pizza at the Golden Ticket Theater when you are watching a movie, something people would not have dreamed of a generation back. However, the hired help at Golden Ticket leave a lot to be desired, and you can expect rudeness and frustration. If you are a Sam’s Club member the cheapest best pizza out there and by far the most convenient is at the deli. Grouchy’s son is an assistant manager at a nearby Rushmore Crossing store and he zips over to Sam’s and grabs lunch for just a few bucks. You can’t get a deal like that much of anyplace else.

Bottom line, convenience is better than ever, but harder to find as the day wears on

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