What Should Replace M Restaurant?
Readers responded to news that downtown Highland Park had lost another restaurant with a lengthy discussion about what can be done to foster the success of the city's local businesses.
News that M Restaurant, located at the corner of Central Avenue and Green Bary Road in Highland Park, had closed prompted a lengthy discussion on Patch about the city's downtown and what it takes for a restaurant to survive in Highland Park.
"This is a terrible spot for a restaurant and not great for retail," wrote Richard Heineman. "None of the many businesses to locate there have been able to survive."
Heineman suggested redeveloping the site, and wondered if it could be combined with another lot to allow for an office building.
David Greenberg agreed.
"This has always been a poor place for any business," Greenberg wrote. "Something with it's own parking underground might do better - if it's not easy for shoppers to access, chances are it's not going to get visited."
Others wondered if M's closing had less to do with the location and more to do with the restaurant itself.
"If the food is good, priced well for what you get, and the service is good, fannies will fill the seats and people will travel to get there," wrote Steve S.
Readers debated whether or not the city should attempt to help landlords find businesses when there are vacancies, as Highland Park's deputy city manager said the city would do.
"What possibly can elected officials do to help bring in businesses other than tax incentives?" wondered Standards.
"Our elected officials ... can foster a great community that will attract businesses to Highland Park," wrote TJ Wheeler.
Other readers discussed what could fill the space M has left behind.
"How about a nice Greek restaurant?" suggested Bob Levi. "A good one will have great food at reasonaable prices."
Some readers said that if a restaurant at the space could be more like Bluegrass, they'd be able to stay in business, even if the food was pricey.
"I go to bluegrass 3-4 times per month. Expensive, sorta. Locally owned, yes. Quality, you betcha," wrote GFunk. "People will always pay for quality."
Other readers agreed.
"Can’t say enough about Jim Lederer his wife and Chef Warren. Three thumbs up nice people great food," wrote Joe.
"Great food, friendly EVERYBODY (esp. the owner and Chef)," writes Greenberg. "And the service is great."