This is pretty sad.

Uninformed.

Condescending.

Essentially treating the readers like boobs.

One might call it the foodie version of the McCain Campaign, were one the sort to do that.

One hopes, in any case, that perhaps Craig LaBan, a very good restaurant critic who has become one of the advocates of craft beer in America’s Best Beer-Drinking City, might take the colleague with whom he shares a page every Sunday in the Philadelphia Inquirer aside and knock a bit of sense in his head.

Quite simply, Rick Nichols embarrasses himself here, in a piece about a new wine bar in Manayunk which has been added to the perennial Jake’s on Main Street.

The column is built around the shtick that the once high end destination avenue has regressed and been down-scaled into a frat party atmosphere:

Jake’s has been for grown-ups: In a sea of increasingly down-market beer joints and “drink specials,” on a strip that toward midnight gets fratty-er and boozier, it has catered to an older, more refined clientele, denizens of Chestnut Hill and the moneyed Main Line.

[ ... ]

Whether Manayunk’s “degentrified” main drag can regain its lost luster is a harder question: Sonoma and Kansas City Prime are gone, and Roscoe’s Kodiak Cafe, and bold Vega Grill, and pioneering Jamey’s.

Perhaps demographics will be destiny: Cooper posits that the $100,000 rowhouses that were converted into apartments for college kids five years ago are climbing in value and becoming owner-occupied; and that, regardless, the 21-year-olds of that era are now 24, 25 and 26, more grown up themselves – with better jobs, broader tastes, and a bit more income.

Fair enough. But then he falls back on the old saws and images to make his point in the next two (closing) paragraphs:

In other words, they’re ripe to join the adults at Cooper’s Brick Oven Wine Bar. He spotted four of them the other day, sharing a $35 bottle of malbec and a cheese plate at one of his sidewalk tables.

They were still watching the girls go by. But in a watershed moment, Cooper noticed what they weren’t doing; they weren’t drinking beer.

Because beer, of course, is crap and anybody drinking it is a frat boy or lowlife.

All beer is cheap, fizzy yellow liquid, not fit to be served with decent food.

Not drinking beer is a sign of sophistication and high income.

Pathetic.

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