[C]onsultant Brad Beracha ... told me that owner Steve Smith had opted for a new concept because the old City Diner had earned poor marks from its customers and lost the confidence of the neighborhood. Smith called upon Beracha to reimagine the greasy spoon as an elevated comfort food spot.But Baehr, for one, wasn't won over. She called its appearance "stunning," but said the menu overhaul left much to be desired:
One of the biggest complaints about the previous incarnation, Beracha explained, was the service. He and Smith made improving the restaurant's hospitality the focal point of the rebrand, instilling a cultural change in the staff to try to win back displeased guests.
[T]here wasn't much about the food at Stage Left Diner that left me with a pleasant taste in my mouth. And that's a shame that goes far beyond the effort its owners put into the reboot.News of the closure was first broken by Feast Magazine. No word yet on what will come next for the space.
Grand Center is a prominent jewel in this city's crown, and the Fox Theater is a national treasure. Restaurants catering to this crowd should see it as an opportunity to raise their culinary offerings to the level such a theater district deserves, not phone it in because they have a captive audience. We deserve better. The Fox deserves better.