Dinner with the candidates: Chris Fowler

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Hi Mom and  Dad,

How are you doing?  I hope all is well and you’re both in good health.  I never did hear the results of Dad’s visit to the doctor last week.  I’m sure I’ll hear all about it from Jennifer when I eventually talk to her.

I wanted to let you know that I had dinner a week or so ago with Chris Fowler.  I’m not sure if you know who Chris is, although I am sure you have heard his name. Most everyone who lives in Syracuse knows the guy.  Remember that door sticker we saw for Syracuse First?  That’s the organization Chris founded. Syracuse First advocates for local businesses and encourages people to “buy local.”

I had sent Chris a Facebook message and asked to take him to dinner.  I wanted to write a blog about each person running for Mayor of Syracuse and I decided to call it “Dinner with the Candidates.”  At the time I thought it would be interesting, but now I realize it’s more difficult than I thought it would be. I mean, The Post-Standard has a new article out what seems like every day talking about the candidates and where they stand on certain issues, so it has been challenging to find an interesting way to write about these people without being boring and without repeating what has already been said.  Do you think our readers will care what party the candidates are affiliated with? I don’t, but that’s just me.

Anyway, I think you would both really enjoy Chris, especially you, Dad. Chris is the type of person who is genuinely concerned about Syracuse.  I have never met someone who loves the city more than him. He cares about local business owners and local restaurant owners and has said his vision for Syracuse is for it to become a food and beverage destination, with a focus on restaurants and food entrepreneurs. I asked Chris if it’s OK that I get my coffee from a coffee chain.  He said, “sure, so long as it’s a local chain.”

I just think about when you had the diner in Kentucky and all the other small businesses you’ve been involved with over the years and how much more successful you could have been with someone like Chris advocating and fighting for you.

I won’t bore you both with all the details of what Chris and I talked about over dinner, I think we were there for three hours.  I will say that Chris is for the city and the people of Syracuse.  He’s for the local guy, the local business owner, not for the mega chain and franchise businesses that come in and snag up all the tax breaks.  I asked Chris the question, “assuming you win the race and become mayor, what would be your biggest fear?”  His response: “that what I think is actually right for Syracuse turns out to not work.”  What politician admits that?  I mean, have you ever heard of someone being so honest and humble in politics?

I enjoyed speaking with Chris about his hopes and dreams for Syracuse and I hope it turns out that I can do the same with all the candidates for Mayor of Syracuse.

Love you both…I will call soon!

Your Son,


P.S.  Dad, Chris is ALL about local restaurants and we even talked about something called a “restaurant day.”  We had dinner at Eleven Waters, in the Marriott Syracuse Downtown (Hotel Syracuse).  The restaurant’s name is a reference to the Finger Lakes and the focus is on local food and wine. Dinner was great and so was our server, Brian.

-Anthony Tringale