by Ian Froeb
Visit the RFT restaurant page late tomorrow afternoon or check back here Wednesday morning to see what I think.The show must go on at Grand Center, where restaurants continue to open, even with the specters of failures past hovering like ghosts of tragic heroes over the city's wanna-be entertainment destination. The newest player strutting across the stage is Kota Wood Fire Grill, which opened in February in Grand Center's most vexing address, directly across North Grand Boulevard from the Fox Theatre marquee. You might remember this location as the site of the spectacular flameout of the Tuxedo Room, whose splashy late-2006 debut was followed three months later by an acrimonious self-immolation. Reggie's Backstage, The Tux's longer-lived successor, died with a whimper rather than a bang -- still, it died.
Both the Tuxedo Room and Reggie's Backstage made the obvious pitch to theatergoers. Obvious, but flawed. Yes, patrons of the Fox, Sheldon and Grand Center's other venues might want to eat before or after a show, but the strategy doesn't account for nights when some or all of the venues are dark, not to mention those of us who would rather have hot pokers shoved under our fingernails than sit through Wicked or Billy Elliot the Musical.