What Should Replace Central Avenue's Corner Bakery?
The downtown Highland Park sandwich shop closed its doors at the end of October. What should take its place?
Late last week, the Corner Bakery on Central Avenue closed, surprising many Highland Park residents.
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"Wow!" said Patch columnist Ed Brill in surprise about the news on Facebook. "It was always busy!"
The restaurant did not close due to a lack of business, according to Business and Economic Development Chair Alyssa Knobel. She says the city is working with landlord Al Klairmont to attract a business that's right for the location.
"Does it have to be a restaurant? No," Knobel said.
And perhaps it won't be a restaurant. The city recently announced a Panera would be opening nearby, across the street from Michael's. Panera's menu offers an assortment of sandwiches, soups, salads and coffee similar to what Corner Bakery offered.
Knobel would love to see property owners work together and with the city's office of economic development to ensure businesses offering similar services, products or foods don't get rented space close to each other in town. It happened with cupcakes on Central Avenue, and did not end well.
"It would be great if our property owners work together," Knobel said. "If we have businesses go in and then go out in six months it hurts everybody."
Klairmont told Patch on Friday evening that the building has only had five operators since 1882, beginning with Brand Brothers Paint Store.
"What I'm looking for is a viable long-standing use," Klairmont said.
The landlord said he is in talks with some restaurants and retailers, and is unsure when a deal will be made. Though Klairmont wouldn't comment on the type of restaurants he's in talks with, he said none of the them are similar to Corner Bakery.
So what do you think should replace the Corner Bakery? Should it be a similar restaurant? A different kind? A store? Take the poll and leave your comments below.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with quotes from landlord Al Klairmont and has been corrected from an earlier draft that mistakenly stated there was an issue between the landlord and tenant. Patch apologizes for the error.