While we're still in mourning over the loss of Papa Milano's, it's worth noting that its replacement is getting ready to open for business.
The new Barney's New York building bounded by Rush, Oak, State, and Walton streets is complete on the exterior, with the exception of the first-floor facade and sidewalks. But around the corner on the State Street side, things are moving more quickly.
Citibank will relocate its Oak Street branch to the new building in January. The Oak Street bank inside the historic (yet rat-infested) Esquire Theater will close on January 15 and re-open in the Barney's building on the 20th.
Does this mean things will move forward with the redevelopment of the Esquire? Who can say. So far, any development large enough to be economically viable has been shot down. Hopefully some compromise will be reached before the building deteriorates enough that it needs to be torn down.