Thursday, May 2, 2013

[Suburbia Lost] Red Lobster - Western Hills

Glenway Avenue is almost all a vertical climb as you leave Downtown and head through Queensgate, Lower Price Hill, Price Hill and finally arrive in Westwood. The hill more or less peaks at Werk Road. As it starts to descend, the road carves through a valley. On either side, chain restaurants and retail stores sit perched high above the road.

Red Lobster was established in the 1960s in Florida. It was later bought by General Mills, who put it in a subsidiary called Darden Restaurants. Darden has now been released and is an independent company.

This Red Lobster on Glenway closed this January. According to the Business Courier, the restaurant was closed due to the economic climate of the area. The business employed 70 people, all who have been offered jobs at other locations.

This store and it's neighbor Bob Evans have odd parking lots carved into the side of the hill. It's hard to tell where to turn in to get to them.

I'd wager there are a hundred businesses between Werk Road and the 8th Street Viaduct, which is what Glenway turns into as you head Downtown. The farther from the city you get, the more economic the road becomes. If you live close to Glenway, you end up there a lot.

The first time I ate at this Red Lobster was a few months after my fiancee and I moved in together. We went there for an anniversary dinner.

The amazing thing about Glenway is the lack of empty space. Once you're out of the more residential areas, the road is lined with businesses, churches and schools. Price Hill Chili, Elder and Seton on the Price Hill side and then bigger chains like Target and Home Depot in Westwood.

When I typically see an abandoned chain restaurant, I know the land will go unused for a long time, but in this case, I feel like something else will fill in the spot soon. Maybe a Ruby Tuesday or maybe a new branch of Heinke Winery (doubtful), but it won't go empty.

Red Lobster might be missed by Westsiders during Lent, but I think that's about it. Maybe if they restocked the cheddar bay biscuits a little quicker, they would have wanted them to stick around.

Suburbia Lost is an ongoing documentation of decay in the sphere of a perceived paradise. After years of photographing abandoned, forgotten, and often historical locations in the city, this project aims to take a look at how structures fare in the sphere of suburbia. You can view other entires in the project, here


  1. Close by the health department. We ate there in August and the smell was horrible. Sewer.....

  2. The Zoning Hearing Administrator approved a health club at a July 24th meeting.