I recently heard that the Bar Louie in downtown Oak Park, IL is going out of business following the Five Guys basically across the street. Almost a year ago the brew house that replaced Szechwan Beijing went out of business as well. The Commercial corridor that Oak Park, iL believes their downtown to be is a literal wasteland of empty storefronts and revolving door businesses. The main issue involved with that is the problematic parking that sucks the oxygen of any dinner plans tourists may have.
I loved the letter that the ill-fated brew house left on the door of their business as they closed, they felt that Oak Park. IL did not assist them when there was the new construction for the condos down the street which played a heavy part in their low foot traffic. Also, I think the fact the business was on the other side of the green line track and “removed” from the initial downtown area did not help either. I took a photo of the letter for your enjoyment, I hope you can read it.
Being away from the downtown area and away from any type of parking also helped in destroying the foot traffic going to this business and probably the old Szechwan Beijing restaurant too. The parking in downtown Oak Park, IL does not in any way allow the customer to freely relax and take their time to shop the various stores in the area. Unfortunately, the parking garage and other various parking alternatives rush one out of the area as soon as possible. A basic “get In” and “get out” travel plan, this does not allow any business in the area (established or new) to grow or even cultivate current clientele or attract new ones.
Although Bar Louie was not a favorite of mine, I will be sad to see another business gone because of a bad location and a village that does not have the business sense to really develop the areas they say they are developing’ but that is Oak Park, IL
Here is the link alluding to the closure