I am going out onto a limb and be the first one to say it in print: FooBooz is dead and gone. It’s not a long limb to climb out on, though. Yesterday’s unveiling –after months of speculation– of the Philadelphia edition of Eater pretty much puts the nails in the coffin. This after a year of Philly-style hate built up against FB and its fryboy editor Jason Sheehan.
Everything went wrong Philly Mag bought FooBooz from Art Echells. His laizze faire attitude, gigantic readership, and insider track with all the major PR firms in the city meant that it was the place to get the buzz about Philly food and booze scene. There was plenty of criticism that he was a flunky for the 1%ers in the city, but in the end everyone loved Art. After all, he was just a regular Philly guy who loves hockey and managed to be at the right place at the right time.
Philly Mag, on the other hand, is just another big-money institution. Rather than hiring local talent to run the blog, they hired an outsider from Seattle. From the very beginning he was doomed. In one of his first pieces, he called Moma’s “a sad looking vegetarian restaurant doing no trade” and then turned around and praised Village Whiskey to high heaven. It’s well known that both restaurants are top of their game (burger and falafel, respectively). Many folks found it was interesting that he only praised the one with a high-powered PR firm.
Jason may be a great guy, but his writing seems to be out of step with Philly. His writing often comes off a touch too belligerent and condescending. Compare that to the new editor of Eater, Collin Flatt. A longtime favorite who has run Phoodie and NBC’s TheFeast Philadelphia, Collin is a smartass local boy who has more connections than a heroin addict. With Eater’s credo of take-no-bullshit and Collin’s insider knowledge of the scene in Philly, it’s only a matter of time before FooBooz is turned into a giant billboard for Cook. Wait, it already is.