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Two more restaurants are about to arrive on Madison Street. That’s two more eateries with a purpose and a plan to attract a crowd to their doors specifically and to further Forest Park’s deserved destination status.

First up is The Junction Diner, a train-themed restaurant that is family centered but is not channeling Chuck E. Cheese and the despondency that restaurant/arcade elicits in most adults. Instead, the family-owned Junction Diner will charm kids and, taking a look at the menu, please the grown-ups with real food.

The Junction Diner is set to open on Friday and replaces Two Fish, the nervy retailer which helped put Forest Park on the map a generation back. While retail on the street has declined in this recession, dining has continued to expand and the property owner here has been patient in waiting for a new use that could add interest to the street.

Due to open soon in one of Forest Park’s most challenging locations is Piggyback, a barbeque restaurant with strong prospects and restaurant roots. Piggyback will open on Circle Avenue just south of Madison, in a jinxed spot that has housed multiple incarnations of former building owner Robert Marani’s culinary visions.

These restaurants will join a roster of newer and veteran eateries which together offer locals and visitors a rich menu of choices and reinforce our view that investing in Forest Park’s distinctiveness will trump lining the street with video gaming contraptions.