We never saw this one coming: Yankee Doodle, restaurant, and Tyco, copy shop, mano a mano, butterbun to course packet, engaged in an escalating — and public — war over the future of 240 square feet on the corner of York and Elm streets.
As the underdog — Doodle — amasses a battalion of heartbroken alums, CEOs of major corporations included, Tyco selects the path of guerrilla warfare: staying on the defensive until the sudden sharp jab, baffling the opposition, and the Yale campus, by making an offer and then rescinding it.
Such is the latest development in the saga that has unfolded since Jan. 28 when the Doodle closed its doors “for good.” On Tuesday, Tyco agreed to consider lowering the lease rate. But when Doodle owner Rich Beckwith said what amounted to “Thanks, but we deserve more,” owner Michael Iannuzzi rescinded his offer altogether, and this time, for good.
Although both owners have compelling arguments, we side more with the Doodle on this one — but our position has nothing to do with our craving for one more fried donut.
We side with the Doodle because its only request — a lower lease rate — is not selfish, whereas Tyco’s rhetoric reeks of imparity and self-interest. Let the truth be told: If Iannuzzi genuinely wanted the Doodle to stay in business, he would lower the rate from the currently high rate. It would benefit all parties, Tyco included, for the Doodle to reopen, perhaps, and in light of the recent burst of campus exposure, with later hours.
To protect its image while preserving a cornerstone of Yale’s past, Iannuzzi should, at the very least, conduct a survey of rent rates in the Broadway area and adjust the Doodle’s monthly charge to better reflect the typical neighborhood offering. Above all, he should work with Beckwith and alumni to negotiate an agreement this month that ensures at least one year of harmonious coexistence before the agreement is reevaluated.
With neither party entirely in the right, we can only turn to history for guidance. And history tells us that keeping the Doodle alive should be a priority of anyone who purports to be part of the Yale community.