November 4, 2011
One thing is certain: a lot has changed in ten years.
Ten years ago, there was no iPhone. In fact, the iPod had just been released. The national average price of a gallon of Regular gas was $1.34. MSN, Yahoo, AOL, Excite, Geocities, and Netscape were all more popular than Google. And Facebook not only didn't exist, founder Mark Zuckerberg was still in high school and not yet enrolled in Harvard.
Almost ten years ago, on March 28, 2002, I started Charlottesville-Dining.com with a vision of providing a marketing opportunity to local restaurants. The website quickly evolved and I made the decision to provide the site completely free, both to restaurants and to the site's visitors. With that, I began what I termed my "community service" to the Charlottesville area.
Since that time, I've married, moved out of the immediate area (though I continue to work in Charlottesville), and started and ended several other websites and projects. Through it all, I've continued to provide and administrate Charlottesville-Dining.com out of a love of food, websites, and the sharing of community information and recommendations.
This website started with well over 300 restaurant listings. Now, almost 250 of the restaurants that were listed on Charlottesville-Dining.com at some point in time have gone out of business for one reason or another. That's a lot of turnover and it's part of the price the Charlottesville community pays for having such a wide selection of eateries in such a relatively small area.
That kind of turnover requires a lot of attention; attention that I no longer feel I can adequately provide to maintain Charlottesville-Dining.com as a useful resource both to the Charlottesville community and its visitors. Because of that, this version of my "community service" has come to an end and Charlottesville-Dining.com will cease to exist from this point forward.
There are many other websites that have a lot more resources and expertise to provide restaurant recommendations. I have listed a handful that I've found useful and I encourage you to give them a try.
Providing this website has been a fantastic experience with very few lows and a lot of great highs, particularly when people realize that I'm the guy who owns "that orange restaurant site". Most important of all, Charlottesville-Dining.com has been a great source of pride for me for being able to provide a resource to a community that I so enjoy being a part of.
I want to thank the over 1 million (literally!) visitors, over 2,000 contributors, and over 600 restaurants who all made Charlottesville-Dining.com what it came to be. While it pains me a bit to finally say goodbye, now is the right time and I can say with all my heart that it has been an absolute pleasure to serve the Charlottesville community through this website.
Thank you and goodbye!