What's up with the Peppercorn Duck Club?


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The Peppercorn Duck Club
Two decades ago, when I was counting ballots for a local business magazine's "Best Of" competition, I wasn't a bit surprised that the Peppercorn Duck Club at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center garnered lots and lots of votes. This upscale restaurant was enormously popular as a destination dining spot well into the 1990s; it offered a lot of old-school amenities to diners, including roses for the ladies and personalized matchbooks for the gentlemen (who were required to wear jackets).

But the Peppercorn has lost a lot of luster over the last decade. And more recently, it has lost nights.

Eight months ago the executives at the Hyatt Regency decided to close the dining room on Tuesday and Wednesday nights; the venue had stopped serving lunch two years ago.

True, there are many more restaurants in this neighborhood than there used to be, but part of the problem is that the Hyatt hasn't done much to promote the restaurant -- which could probably use a face-lift -- in years. The Peppercorn, which was once a "see and be seen" dining room, is considered too fancy and expensive by some diners and not nearly elegant enough -- compared to The American across the street or even Skies, its sister upscale venue at the Hyatt -- by others. I haven't eaten at the Peppercorn Duck Club since I last reviewed the restaurant two years ago, but I'll confess, I've always had a soft spot for the location and I hope that the Hyatt isn't quietly, gently easing the classic dining room out of the picture permanently.



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