The restaurant industry was one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, many of them had to temporarily shut down their businesses, leading some to make the decision, ultimately, to not reopen at all. That being said, here are ten popular restaurants that won’t be reopening even after the pandemic is over.
10. P.F. Chang’s
Now before you get your knickers in a twist, we must tell you that only the P.F. Chang’s located on Shakelford Road in Little Rock, Arkansas, will be closing. The restaurant made the announcement on its Facebook page in late March. According to an article published by KARK 4 News, the restaurant said in the post that it had been a pleasure serving its customers over the years, but they would be closing their doors permanently due to “recent events” — or more specifically, the coronavirus pandemic.
9. The Original Hot Dog Shop
Located in Pittsburgh, PA, The Original Hot Dog Shop opened in 1960 across the street from Forbes Field, the former home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. “The O,” as it was more affectionately known to students at the University of Pittsburgh, made no official announcement that it would be closing. Instead, the owners abruptly emptied out the restaurant and took down the website.
FUN FACT: The restaurant, which was known for its famous fries, donated seven tons of potatoes to charity after closing down.
8. Gotham Bar & Grill
Gotham Bar & Grill, located in New York City (as you probably already guessed), served its last meal on Saturday, March 14, 2020. The restaurant announced to its customers via email that it would be closing its doors after 36 years in business. According to a list assembled by 24/7 Tempo, a member of Member of the 24/7 Wall St. Media Network, a statement made by a spokesperson for the restaurant said that “the unforeseen situation created by the coronavirus has made operation of the restaurant untenable.”
“As you can imagine, this has been a very painful decision to make but one that is necessary given the current circumstances. We are grateful to our staff and guests who have supported us over these many years and will now look forward to doing what we can to help our industry and city recover,” the spokesperson added.
7. Babalu Tacos and Tapas
Located in Knoxville, TN, Babalu Tacos and Tapas is a four-unit chain that serves up Latin-inspired cuisine and tapas a.k.a. “snacks, small plates or delicious bites meant to be shared.” The restaurant announced in late March that it would not reopen after closing due to the coronavirus pandemic. Another location in Birmingham, AL, has also shut down for good. The other two locations, one in Memphis, TN, and one in Jackson, MS, are expected to reopen when possible.
FUN FACT: The restaurant is named for the song Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz) sang in the 1950s sitcom, “I Love Lucy.”
6. Lucky Strike
Manhattan restaurant mogul Keith McNally initially opened up this SoHo bistro in 1989. Once the coronavirus pandemic hit, it began providing takeout and delivery services due to the ban on in-house dining. And, in late March, Lucky Strike closed its doors and announced that it would not be reopening. McNally himself was hospitalized in London with a severe case of COVID-19 in early April. Fortunately, he has recovered.
Meanwhile, McNally told Vanity Fair magazine that he is paying 60 percent of his employees’ health insurance and is going to try to rehire them at his other restaurants. There was also a Lucky Strike GoFundMe page set up for people who want to support the staff.
5. Nick and Jake’s
Nick and Jake’s Restaurant has been serving up Chef-driven American cuisine for 19 years and counting. Unfortunately, that 19-year run came to an end for its Main Street location in Kansas City, MO. According to 24/7 Tempo, the chain announced on Facebook back on April 6 that it had to close its doors due to economic fallout from COVID-19 and that it would not reopen even after the pandemic is over. “This has been a very difficult time for us and yes, with a heavy heart we have decided to close our Main Street location permanently,” the restaurant owners announced on Facebook, according to FOX 4 Kansas City. “Recovery over the next 6 months will be slow and in order to survive and stay healthy, we felt it was best to close. Please know, we are doing everything in our power to keep navigating these unknown waters.” Meanwhile, the Overland Park and Parkville locations remain open.
4. Blue’s Egg
This brunch restaurant located in the Milwaukee suburb of Shorewood opened just slightly more than two years ago, but was forced to close its door and will not reopen. The owners have plans to open a new restaurant there in the future that will offer both brunch and dinner. Meanwhile, a Blue’s Egg location in Milwaukee itself has plans to reopen. “We are working on plans and procedures to meet new guidelines and plan to reopen Blue’s Milwaukee when local restrictions on in-house dining are eased. In the best interest of our staff, our guests, and our community, and in accordance with local orders, all Black Shoe Hospitality restaurants are currently closed for in-house dining. We thank you for your support over the years. We thank you and our teams for the incredible effort and patience we have seen during this unprecedented time. We look forward to seeing you again soon,” the restaurant said on its website.
3. The Egg and I Diner
The Egg and I Diner in Minneapolis closed on March 17 in response to Minnesota governor Tim Walz’s order. It was then that the owner decided not to reopen even after the coronavirus pandemic restrictions had been lifted. Instead, he decided to sell the property. “When they shut down all the restaurants, we made the decision to consolidate to one store. It just happened to be this store works out better for us,” owner Eric Grotbeck said, referring to his second location in St. Paul, according to the Star Tribune. Grotbeck planned to reopen the St. Paul location when possible.
Threadgill’s opened as a gas station and beer bar in Austin, TX, in 1933. It gained in popularity and the owner opened a second location in 1996. Unfortunately, that location closed in 2018. Now, the original Threadgill’s is up for sale and will not reopen. “Yeah, this is really a deeply sad day for all of Austin history,” music journalist Rush Evans told KVUE, referring to the fact that many legendary stars — Janis Joplin and ZZ Top, for example — have made appearances at Threadgill’s. “This is heartbreaking news for all of Austin, just absolutely heartbreaking,” he added.
1. The Brooklyn Seafood, Steak & Oyster House
Contrary to what you might believe, The Brooklyn Seafood, Steak & Oyster House is not located in New York City. It’s actually located in Seattle, WA. It’s been there for more than a quarter of a century and is known for its oyster menu and its meat and seafood dishes. Unfortunately, the beloved eatery has closed its doors permanently. “It is with a heavy heart that we announce, effective Friday, March 13, 2020, we will be permanently closing our doors due to the devastating economic impact of global events,” the restaurant wrote on its website. “Thank you all for your loyal patronage,” they added.
Your turn! Do you know of any other popular restaurants that won’t be reopening after the pandemic? Let us know about them in the comments below.