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Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Key Wester -- gone but not forgotten

So the other day my niece called me as I was getting into my car to go home from the office. She herself was driving home from Downers Grove and she invited me to meet her for sushi on Route 59 at Nagoyo (see previous blog). I gladly accepted and detoured my route home to meet her at Nagoya. This brought me down Route 59 when I normally would have taken Eola. Much to my surprise, I noticed that the Key Wester (owned by Portillos but a sensation in it's own right) was being dismantled. At first I thought it was storm damage (looked like a tornado had struck part of the building). I googled it when I got home only to find out that a few months ago they suddenly shut their doors. After like 15 years (or more?) of a fabulous restaurant that has memories dear to my heart, they closed. It's the economy and the fact that people just don't splurge out like they used to. I have so many memories of the Key Wester. The first one that comes to mind is when my mother died. Tom and I flew to Illinois and the following night we went there with my brother and my niece (mentioned above).

I think I was still in shock when this one was taken. But even before that, my friends and I used to go there to

Naperville will not be the same. The Key Wester being demolished is just a symbol of how my old life has been demolished. I need to make new memories. I am glad I can make them with Shelley.


  1. It is truely a sad sight, I remember the wonderful experience I had each time i went their. my final time their (before it was even announced it would be closing, I took a video of the fishtank with my cellphone... I was going to delete it, but now I feel I must keep it somewhere safe.

  2. I had no idea they closed and demolished it. I moved away from Naperville in 2005 and I was still just a kid. I remember I went to the Key Wester once or twice a year for various dinner gatherings for the startup my dad was working for. I remember always wondering how the palm trees outside survived the winter. Now I'm grown and I'm in Chicago for a few days later this year for work. I figured I'd extend my stay a few days to go see how my hometown changed in the last 12 years, and I actually happened across this blog trying to figure out what the restaurant was called. Guess this is one place that's disappeared...

    1. *only to figure out later that the trees were completely fake...