Monday, May 26, 2008

tragedy strikes


A lot has happened since we last wrote about the Lemont Street Cafe. Shortly after our original entry, LSC underwent a name change and the final phase of a nice remodeling, rechristening itself as the Shea Cafe. I don't know the story behind the name change, or if Shea was pronounced as "Shay" (rhymes with clay) or "She-ah" (rhymes with diarrhea). I'm leaning more towards the former, since it also rhymes with cafe and there was a sparse collection of baseball memorabilia in a display case by the register.

Anyway, the name change didn't bring about sweeping changes (though in rereading our original review, I can say with confidence the service really did seem to improve over the following year and a half, though it was never particularly bad to begin with). It was still the same good food and friendly atmosphere. You were always made to feel welcome, and you could tell that the owners loved their work and were truly appreciative whenever you walked through the doors. The Lemont Street Cafe/Shea Cafe was always one of our favorite spots for breakfast and lunch, a fact that wouldn't be clear to me until well after we'd written our original review and kept coming back for more.

Despite being one of our favorites, we spent a few months away from Shea exploring other restaurants in the area, always confident that we'd be able to return whenever we'd like. Imagine our shock and disappointment when we drove by more than a month ago to find this note taped to the inside of the door. I only hope that everyone there is back on their feet somewhere else by now. What a pity that restaurants run by passionate people can't make it here anymore, while others content to just go through the motions every day get to stay in business.


Ayinsan here. Around the same time Shea Cafe closed its doors, Spring View--another nice restaurant--shut down. Not sure what the "All New This Fall" message means. Will it be the same restaurant under new ownership? Will it be someplace completely new? The sign offers no clues, but apparently there will be something in this location come Fall. I have to wonder what will happen to the koi in the meantime. I hope they're okay. We've only been to Spring View a couple times, but I liked the place. I was sorry to see it go.


As if the combined loss of Shea Cafe and Spring View weren't enough, the Baker Square in St. Charles recently closed its doors as well. Okay, so it's not quite the same. After all, there are plenty of other Baker Squares in the area, so it's not like a unique restaurant has vanished forever from the face of the Earth. Still, I always liked the one in St. Charles. It always seemed a little cleaner, a little nicer.

Why are so many restaurants going out of business? Probably the sagging economy is to blame, at least in part...but I guess the real question is, why do so many crappy restaurants remain in business while the good ones die out? It's a mystery for the ages.

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