Two months ago, the restaurant 14 West closed after being open for several years. I visited once years ago, and found the food and service to be decent. Unfortunately, the restaurant was nearly empty on a Devour Downtown evening, so the closing didn’t surprise me (or other food-watchers around town) all that much. But for the purpose of this post, I don’t want to comment too much on this particular restaurant, but on its setting:
14 West was located in one of only three outward-facing street-level retailers on the entire block ( one being Palomino’s, which is on the corner of Illinois and is more closely identified with Circle Center Mall. The other one is Downtown Eye Care). This spot is right next to Meridian Street, so it should receive more foot traffic than it does, but the environment makes it difficult to draw pedestrians down the street. Garage entrances are on each side of the street, and the Circle Center skybridge looms overhead.
Also, I’m guessing that the closing of Nordstrom’s also was not helping matters for the restaurant:
Again, I don’t want to speculate too much on the reasons for the closing of the restaurant. Nor do I have any real solution that doesn’t involve a major overhaul of Circle Center Mall’s inward orientation. However, I have to think it might be difficult for any restaurant to survive on this stretch of street, regardless of quality. It’s a tough block, which is a shame, because it’s right in the heart of the city.