Folks, we’ve received word that yet another restaurant in the old Old Chicago space in Uptown has called it quits.
This marks the sixth restaurant in seven years to go under in what theoretically should be a pretty good spot for a restaurant.
Here’s a recap of what’s been there in reverse chronological order:
- Piggy Bank: Sounds sexual in a way that I don’t care to explain; went once or twice.
- Lotus: My friend Phil said they had a “pho-rrito”? That sounds bad, never went.
- GAME (the gay sports bar): Absolutely cursed concept from 100 angles, never went.
- Salsa a la Salsa: Went once or twice. (They sell salsa at the grocery store.)
- BoneYard: Where the hyenas lived in Lion King; never went.
Wow. Sounds cursed. Or maybe some of those concepts were just bad/weird.
But you know what would last longer than seven months at this spot? That’s right: Applebee’s.
People love Applebee’s. You’ve been thinking that Uptown needs an Applebee’s for years, either very consciously every few hours or subconsciously when you’re by yourself on Sunday nights and you feel like something is missing.
What you’re missing is half-off apps after nine and a weak margarita the size of a Nissan Leaf. Now that you can sell booze basically wherever in the city, Uptown doesn’t have the fancy restaurant drawing power that it used to.
I remember going to the Old Chicag when I was in high school, along with the (that's right) Applebee's in Calhoun Village. It was simple and fine. It filled a need in the market and it was open for ages.
Uptown needs more things that are simple and also fine. It’s time to settle for Applebee’s. Applebee’s is unpretentious and literally everyone knows exactly what they’re getting into when they put it into Google Maps.
I would also accept an Olive Garden.
A version of this post first appeared on Nick Magrino's blog.