MONTEREY, Calif. - For 50 years, locals and tourists like Ed Nikowitz checked out the free samples on Fisherman's Wharf before deciding where to eat.
"This is very good clam chowder," says Nikowitz.
But, getting these free samples of clam chowder may soon be gone. On Monday, Central Coast News found out the Fisherman's Wharf Association recommended to the city, it stop allowing free samples.
"It cheapens the experience down here to be handed chowder at every place in the wharf they walk at," says Board Member Kevin Phillips. "We think it's better off without it."
Phillips, who also owns Abalonetti's, said it's been a problem for years. Now, he thinks it's out of hand.
"This whole barking and oral advertising that goes along with it," says Phillips. "A lot of people are uncomfortable with it."
But other businesses like the Old Fisherman's Grotto don't agree.
"It's a great thing," says Owner Chris Shake. "Why would you want to take away something that is very positive for the wharf?"
Shake said it could even hurt his restaurant's bottom line.
"Banning clam chowder samples on the Fisherman's Wharf is a bad idea," says Shake. "I think it would have a tremendous economic impact to the wharf."
As for tourist Ed, he said he'll now have to rely more on recommendations.
"Recommendations are not nearly as good as the actual sample of the food themselves," says Nikowitz.
The City hasn't taken any action, but will discuss at their next meeting. The board wants it to happen as soon as possible and instead of free samples, they want restaurants to pass out fliers and coupons.
Submitted by Azenith Smith, Central Coast News