This is the latest in an occasional series looking at independent restaurants closing their doors permanently due to the pandemic.
Long-established restaurants that have weathered decades of wars and economic turbulence and massive industry changes are closing their doors permanently because of the pandemic.
Some of these restaurants have been serving food and drink for a century. But they’ve recently announced permanent closures because of the impacts of COVID-19 on business.
They’re part of an unprecedented number of largely independent operators who are being forced to shut down their businesses amid the crisis. A sign of the times? Chipotle Mexican Grill confirmed last week it is contacting restaurant operators with desirable real estate about buying out their leases.
Here’s a look at some of the recent closure announcements from restaurants that have survived 30 years or longer.
Louis’ Restaurant, San Francisco
Louis’ Restaurant, which has overlooked the Pacific Ocean in San Francisco for 83 years, will not reopen after the pandemic.
“After much deliberation and a lot of tears we have decided after 83 continuous years of business on Point Lobos Avenue to close our business permanently,” the owners wrote on Facebook. “The decision was very difficult to make but with everything we have seen and heard regarding reopening for indoor dining we felt it was an unsafe environment for us and our employees. To wait out this pandemic was financially unreasonable.”
John’s Famous Stew, Indianapolis
John’s Famous Stew started in Indianapolis in 1911 by brothers who immigrated from Macedonia and opened a restaurant based on their mother’s stew recipe. The current operator had owned the restaurant for more than 40 years, according to local media reports.
“It is with a heavy heart that I share we will not be reopening,” the restaurant posted on Facebook earlier this month. “It has been our pleasure serving you over the past 45 years. Thank you for all of the memories.”
Jules Maes Saloon, Seattle
Jules Maes Saloon, which is reported to date back to 1888 and has been called Seattle’s oldest bar, announced it would not reopen. The bar had been closed since Washington’s stay-at-home order was imposed in March.
“Well folks,” the current owner wrote on Facebook. “As you may have already heard, we are done. I want so very badly to talk about the dark things that happened behind the scenes that brought us to this point, but it serves no productive purpose.”
Santa Fe Basque; Reno, Nev.
Santa Fe Basque restaurant, located in the Santa Fe Hotel in downtown Reno, Nev., opened in 1949. It announced its permanent closure earlier this month.
“It’s official,” the restaurant posted on Facebook. “Thank you to everyone that has supported us for the last 71 years. And a big thanks to all of our guests on our final night. You made it an emotional yet awesome farewell.”
Jeanne D’Arc Restaurant, San Francisco
Jeanne D’Arc, a French bistro in downtown San Francisco, recently announced its permanent closure last week after 48 years in business.
“So sad. It has been the achievement of our life,” the owners wrote on Facebook. “Above all, we shall miss our dear customers who became true friends of ours. We thank them for their faithfulness which gave us the good feeling of being useful in the San Francisco and the French communities.”
Racines, a popular breakfast-and-lunch spot in Denver, said earlier this month that it would close its doors after 36 years in business.
“It’s been a tremendous amount of fun,” one of the restaurant’s owners told the Denver Post. “It’s been an honor to own a restaurant like Racines. We’ve had all of Denver in here. I loved every minute of it. Almost every minute.”