Succumbing to public pressure, Avalon owner Beverley Wolfe confirmed Friday that she is installing instant replay video equipment at her Third Street restaurant in Eureka.
Wolfe made the announcement following the controversial on-field call by state and local officials that there was insufficient evidence to determine whether billionaire Robin Arkley II pushed Eureka City Councilman Larry Glass during a Coastal Commission reception at Avalon in September.
The ruling, confirmed this week when the California Attorney General’s Office declined to file charges against Arkley, divided the community and sparked renewed demands for the mandatory use of play review at all upscale restaurants.
“The big argument against using IR has always been unnecessary game delay,” Wolfe said. “There’s no getting around the fact that drawn out booth reviews can result in the loss of dining momentum.”
To explain, Wolfe cited what she called the “dramatic tension” that builds between the soup and fish courses.
“Fine dining, like any other potentially violent sporting event, is all about timing,” she said. “But quality restaurants that have gone to IR have learned that use of the system has extended meal times by an average of only 72 seconds, and momentum loss can be minimized by well-timed drink refills.”
Red challenge flags made of Peruvian doeskin will be issued to all patrons upon entry, Wolfe said. She hopes to have the system up and running in time for the Humboldt All Faith Partnership mixer in March.