Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Guess Where There Is a Restaurant Boom?

Midland and Odessa, Texas.

It's caused by the oil shale boom in the area. reports:
As new residents flock to Midland in search of jobs in the area’s booming economy, many new eateries and restaurants are opening their doors to embrace the growing population.
In the past year, almost 20 new restaurants have opened or are planned to open in Midland and Odessa, with several national restaurant chains even venturing to call West Texas home.
From Saltgrass Steakhouse and Panda Express to a third location of Chick-Fil-A and the new restaurants of The Egg and I, Cork and Pig Tavern and White House Meat Market in the Parks Legado shopping center off of Highway 191, there’s definitely not only been a boom recently in the population and oil industry but in local food choices as well.[...]Last month, Anthony Russo of Russo’s NY Pizzeria spoke with the Reporter-Telegram about how his company would love to open a location in Midland but are seeking local owners to participate in the project. Since, Russo has confirmed that the business still has a franchise available but that he’s hopeful and has set a goal of getting one of his restaurants open in Midland in less than 12 months.[...]Among the national chains that have come to Odessa recently or are set to open are Cheddar’s, Five Guys Burgers and Chipotle.

This probably confuses Peak Oil types and modern day Malthusians, who never seem to consider technology growth, but it is real.

Even NYT gets it. NYT  reported in April:
About a year ago, talk began circulating in this West Texas town about a huge oil-producing formation called the Cline Shale, east of the traditional drilling areas around Midland.

Then the oilmen and their rigs arrived. Now homes and hotels are sprouting, “help wanted” signs have multiplied, and a major drilling company has cleared land to build an office and equipment yard.

“It is coming, and it is big,” said Greg Wortham, the mayor of Sweetwater, who also serves as executive director of the Cline Shale Alliance, a new economic development group.

The Cline Shale, thousands of feet underground in a roughly 10-county swath, is just one of many little-tapped shale formations in Texas and across the nation, geologists say. That means the potential for oil and gas discoveries is theoretically huge, and the reason is technology. The rock-breaking process known as hydraulic fracturing, coupled with the ability to drill horizontally underground, has allowed drillers to retrieve oil and gas from previously inaccessible areas.

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