We went by Brookwood Village last night to visit Santa and discovered that Plaza III Steakhouse had closed.
This was not a huge surprise. For one thing, restaurants in general will struggle in this kind of economy, and restaurants built on the idea of paying big bucks for a hunk of meat or lobster are even more at risk. For another thing, I just don't think people want to go to a mall for a high-end dining experience. And lastly, in our opinion, Plaza III just wasn't worth the price.
We went to Plaza III twice. We never got around to writing up a full-fledged review, but we did write about the impressions of our first visit back in September 2007 (Click here to read "First Impressions: Plaza III Steakhouse"). Our second visit was similar. It's not that anything was bad (although I thought both the mushrooms and a potato side we got could have benefited from a little more cooking time), it's just that neither the food nor the atmosphere was special enough to merit the price tag. The comments we received here on this site largely said the same thing: "...you don't feel that you're anywhere special." "Steak was good but not great." "I was not impressed. I wanted to be impressed. With the prices, you should be impressed."
So where does that leave Birmingham for steakhouses? Fleming's at the Summit is good; we've heard the steaks are quite good at Shula's at the Wynfrey but haven't tried it. The Ruth's Chris in Birmingham is not as good as some others we've been to around the country. We recently tried Michael's Steak & Seafood at the Galleria and will be writing up a review soon.
The Birmingham Business Journal reports that Brookwood mall’s owner is suing for more than $86,600 in back rent from the high-end steak house’s owner. Court documents reveal, says the BBJ, that in November, Colonial filed its lawsuit in Jefferson County. In January, the Haddad Restaurant Group answered the lawsuit, saying they had made $400,000 in improvements to the property and counterclaimed Colonial did not adhere to the lease agreement. According to the counterclaim, the restaurant closed in December. Shortly after that, Colonial changed the locks and denied access into the space, said the suit. The owners are asking the courts to declare who rightfully owns the improvements made to the restaurant and the equipment and fixtures inside.