The slowly deteriorating Southridge Mall is a veritable wasteland when it comes to dining options, especially when you compare it to other malls.
Disregarding the obligatory food courts, Mayfair has Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Maggiano's Little Italy, McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory and Panera Bread.
Brookfield Square has Paciugo, Bravo Cucina Italiana, Claim Jumper, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Houlihan’s, Mitchell’s Fish Market Restaurant & Bar, and Stir Crazy.
The Bayshore Town Center has Applebee’s, Bar Louie, BD’s Mongolian Grill, Bravo, California Pizza Kitchen, Cheesecake factory, Chocolate Factory, Devon Seafood Grill, and Ovation Restaurant.
Southridge has……….not much. Well, it has……..nothing.
Down the street is Red Robin. Further down the street is an Olive Garden and a Carabbas. But the floundering Southridge Mall has nothing like its counterparts, save an ordinary food court. Its best and most popular restaurant changed dramatically when the Boston Store was forced to shut down Bingo games at its cafeteria.
The last time the mall had a decent place for sit down dining physically inside the mall was many years ago when it featured a Ruby Tuesday. That’s been long gone.
Before Ruby Tuesday, remember JoJo’s with those porthole windows? JoJo’s was right on 76th Street, near the current bank and Border’s.
The southwest corner of Milwaukee County cries out for more and better retail shopping and dining destinations. Southridge shoppers know that if they want something other than fast food on a tray with the huddled masses, you have to leave the mall and drive somewhere else. This will change on Tuesday.
Like the phoenix rising from the dead, another Ruby Tuesday officially opens on S.76th Street. Ruby Tuesday is a quality chain, a welcome addition to the restaurant.-barren landscape known as the Southridge area.
No standing in line to order. No lugging your tray hunting for a place to sit that’s actually clean. No looking into a speaker telling a pimply-faced 16-year old who can’t read, write, or understand basic English that you don’t want apple pie with that.
Finally, an honest to goodness, decent, reputable, tried and true place to eat. Sigh upon sigh of relief.
Having said all that, when Ruby Tuesday’s opens on Tuesday (how clever is that), don’t go. That’s right.
DO NOT EAT AT RUBY TUESDAY’S!
Not Tuesday. Not Wednesday. Not next week. Not in two weeks. Not this month.
“Did you hear that, Edith? Kevin Fischer says we should stay away from that there new whatchacallit, Judy Thursday Place.”
“That’s Ruby Tuesday, Archie.”
So what kind of community/business promoter am I if I’m urging readers, and this is no joke, not to patronize a place I’ve already defined as a “quality” establishment? It’s really quite simple.
Ruby Tuesday, through no fault of its own, is like any other comparable restaurant. It can’t help itself. Through no fault of its own, Ruby Tuesday will have all kinds of kinks and bugs to work out, being a spanking brand new place.
Go there on opening day or week and you might have a delightful experience. The odds are better you’ll encounter service delays, botched up orders, questions that employees can’t answer, confusion, apologies. It goes with the territory. Problem is it could lead to an unfair assessment on your part preventing a return visit. Now how’s that for good business?
The late Milwaukee Journal Sentinel dining critic Dennis Getto used to say that you should wait 4-6 weeks before venturing into a just-opened restaurant. Four to six weeks? Won’t that spell economic disaster? Not for a chain. And you’ll probably enjoy your first trip there a whole lot more.
As Mick Jagger once sang, “Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday,” At least for a few weeks.
CULINARY NO-NO BONUS
A restaurant with food to die for.
Ok, that place is still a helluva lot better than this.