Baked Alaska; Astoria, Ore.
Baked Alaska, a fine-dining restaurant overlooking the Columbia River in Astoria, Ore., opened 20 years ago but could not survive the impacts of COVID-19 on its business. “Thank you for all of the amazing memories over the years,” one customer wrote on the restaurant’s closure announcement on Facebook. “Our family would literally drive for hours just to enjoy a fantastic meal with you. You will be missed.”
The Patrenella family opened this rustic Italian restaurant 28 years ago. The restaurant closed at the end of May.
“How lucky we are that you touched our lives and lit it up with something extra special,” the family wrote on its Facebook closure announcement. “It has truly been a pleasure as well as an honor to get to know you.”
Lettuce Entertainment Enterprises’ Foodlife, one of the country’s first food halls, announced early this month that it would close after 27 years in the Water Tower Place shopping mall. Foodlife featured more than a dozen food stations and was innovative in issuing consumers a “credit card” upon entry to track purchases from multiple vendors.
Viognier; San Mateo, Calif.
White tablecloth spot Viognier announced its closure this week, after 23 years on the second floor of the 60,000-square-foot Draeger’s Market. The restaurant admitted to financial troubles pre-pandemic but said being forced to limit dine-in capacity would require it to invest in reformatting the entire business or shut down.
Davanti Enoteca, Chicago
Davanti Enoteca opened in Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood a decade ago, serving family-style Italian dishes. Its owner, Francesca’s Restaurant Group, operates six concepts in 27 locations in three states.
“We are so grateful for the support … and we will miss serving the Little Italy community,” company spokeswoman Meghan Parry told Block Club Chicago.
Soul Vegetarian, Tallahassee
Soul Vegetarian started 23 years ago, as food truck on the campus of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. The restaurant, which later expanded into a brick and mortar location, announced the decision to close earlier this week.
“Due to the effect COVID-19 has had on us and many other small businesses, we made the difficult but necessary decision to close permanently,” the owners wrote on Facebook. “We thank you all so very much for 23 years of support and wish you the best of health and wellness.”
Pok Pok; Portland, Ore.
Portland, Ore.-based Thai restaurant group Pok Pok will close most of its restaurants, chef-owner Andy Ricker announced early this week.
Several Pok Pok units in Portland will close, though the original location “may have a chance of reopening,” Ricker said on Instagram.
“The economic reality is that we simply cannot afford to reopen these locations, given the fact that 1) it is unsafe for workers in a city, state and country with no cohesive plan for testing and tracing COVID-19 cases, no mandatory mask policy for the public, no vaccine and no treatment,” Riker wrote, further noting that reduced capacity and the high cost of reopening a restaurant also factored into his decision.
Pacific Dining Car; Santa Monica, Calif.
Classic steakhouse Pacific Dining Car opened in Santa Monica, Calif., 30 years ago. It is currently selling off its kitchen equipment, decor, furniture and more in an online auction.
The 24-hour restaurant was known for its steaks, lobster and martinis. It also has a location in Los Angeles.
“Our Santa Monica location is a casualty of the coronavirus crisis,” the restaurant told Eater. “We’re deeply grateful to our staff and customers for nearly 30 years in business on the Westside.”
Bay Leaf; Allentown, Pa.
Thai restaurant Bay Leaf operated for nearly 40 years in Allentown, Pa. after being founded by husband and wife team Thongchai and Sop Manasurangkul. The owners were nearing retirement, but the closure was hastened by the pandemic, GM Richard Petrisky told the city’s Morning Call newspaper.
“We have the best customers that you can ever imagine,” Petrisky, who worked there for 32 years, said. “Our clientele has been just awesome over the years.”