Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ruby Tuesday is permanently closed, is TGI Friday's next?

Looks like some of the chain restaurants in our area are no more. PoP reports that Ruby Tuesday at 14th and Monroe is permanently closed, and when I stopped by last night I saw the sign stating just that. The entire place is empty as well.

Apparently this is part of their plan to close 30 stores around the country that aren't doing well, and this one didn't seem to be -- whenever I walked by, it was nearly empty.

A friend raved about their deals, but that same friend hadn't been in quite some time, and the crowds seemed to have declined signifcantly from when they first opened. It also was also located a little outside the most populous area of the neighborhood -- you wouldn't stumble upon it unless you were looking for it, unlike say Starbucks or IHOP.

At the same time, PoP posted a rumor that TGI Friday's was no longer coming to the corner opposite Ruby Tuesday. Rather than running with a rumor, I reached out to Kent Boese, the chair of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, who said he thought it was on hold:

"It's my understanding that Fridays is in the midst of some type of corporate restructuring. I'm not sure of all the details and haven't found anyone who can answer my questions. So, I think it safe to say that yes, TGI Friday's is 'on hold.'"

In addition, there is still a for rent sign on the space.

If you remember, the restaurant chain was arguing with residents of the Samuel Kelsey building where the store was to be located, which is a home for the elderly. Those residents were concnered about noise and foot traffic, while others nearby were concerned about garbage. Some of those concerns seemed a little far fetched to me -- this is TGI Friday's, not a bumping nightclub, after all -- but at the same time I can see why living above a restuarant might not be ideal for senior citizens. 

The restaurant reached an agreement with the ANC, but maybe that argument casued TGI Friday's to put the brakes on their plans, or maybe seeing the lack of success of Ruby Tuesday had something to do with it. And that would be fine with me, I thought it was a pretty lame addition to the neighborhood. Maybe people actually do prefer local restaurants like the Heights and Acre 121 to chains?

I've reached out to TGI Fridays, will let you know if I hear back.

But in any case, goodbye, Ruby Tuesday.

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