Last Friday night I got a text message from my friend Scott. He told me that Muddy Waters, a Cajun restaurant in Baldwinsville, which I’d written positively about regarding their shrimp and grits, was closing for good when they shut down on Saturday night. The reason he told me this is because one of the Christmas gifts we got from his family was a gift certificate for a nice dollar amount off a meal.

Uno's closed Destiny
former Uno’s at Destiny

My wife and I went there for lunch and enjoyed another wonderful meal. We were talking to one of the owners, who said they’d be opening at another location that they weren’t sure of yet but were planning on opening an Italian restaurant in that location… not that we really need another Italian restaurant in our area. lol Little did we know that later that evening, when we were doing a mall walk at Destiny, that we’d discover the Uno’s had closed its doors the previous week… wha?!?!? They were still open when I was there on the 27th, eating something in the food court…

The last few years haven’t been kind to me when it comes to restaurant closings. I lost the Friendly’s that was literally across the street from where I live, as it became Moe’s. I lost both Ruby Tuesday’s, one at Great Northern & the other at Destiny. I lost Cold Stone Creamery when stupid Tim Horton’s closed on Route 31. I lost a take-out Chinese restaurant in a plaza on Route 57 near Taco Bell when some morons decided to rob it and then set it on fire trying to cover it up; so glad those idiots were caught. And, even though I’m not a major fan of Dunkin’ Donuts, the kiosk at Great Northern is now gone and they’re closing the one in Shoppingtown Mall.

I understand that the economy drives these things but we don’t have to like them. We don’t have to like the fact that Macy’s is closing at Shoppingtown Mall after being there for decades under the Kaufmann’s name. We don’t have to like that two other businesses have shuttered in Destiny (and I don’t even remember what was there) and that the Sears Outlet there is closing as well (I wish I’d known that because I needed a new dishwasher). They’d also lost both IHOP and Optigolf in 2016 (neither one will be missed; yeah, that’s cruel… lol). Oh yeah, Toby Keith’s… We’re still wondering which branches of Key Bank and First Niagara will be closing. Finally, Hess gas stations left the area, to be replaced by Speedway; at least they were replaced, right?

I don’t think it matters whether or not any of these businesses were local or not. I think it’s sad that we get used to something being in one place and then suddenly it’s not there, whether we were a customer of theirs or not. I’m happy when someone else moves into those locations, but I’ve complained in my wish list for central New York about all the dying strip malls and commercial properties around town that are a plight in our area.

I don’t have any solutions to offer like I tried with Great Northern Mall. This is basically a rant of despair over lost and forgotten friends… at least some of them.

Have you lost a store or restaurant in the last few years locally that you miss?