Special Report

Saddest Restaurant Closings of 2018

Source: Photo by Jacob S. via Yelp

Denver, Colorado: White Fence Farm

Citing financial difficulties, this 45-year-old family destination restaurant in the Denver suburb of Lakewood (fried chicken, a petting zoo, and a year-round Christmas store are among the attractions) will close on December 30. The five White Fence take-out chicken locations around Denver shuttered in February.

Source: Photo by Peter P. via Yelp

Las Vegas, Nevada: BarMasa and Tetsu

Celebrated sushi chef and restaurateur Masa Takayama — whose New York City sushi bar Masa is among the world’s most expensive restaurants (at $595 per person, not including drinks or tax) — has run the considerably less expensive BarMasa in Las Vegas’ Aria Resort & Casino since the property opened in 2009. In 2012, he added Tetsu, a teppan grill restaurant. Both closed upon the expiration of Takayama’s management contract on October 31.

Source: Photo by Michael L. via Yelp

Las Vegas, Nevada: B&B Ristorante, Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria

These three 10-year-old Las Vegas establishments, formerly under the co-management of celebrity chef Mario Batali (with his former partner, restaurateur Joe Bastianich) closed this summer, after Batali was accused of multiple instances of sexual misconduct. A newer Batali project, La Sirena in New York City, is slated to close at the end of this year.

Source: Photo by Monica L. via Yelp

Los Angeles, California: Irv’s Burgers

This much-loved West Hollywood burger joint opened as Queenie’s in 1946, was purchased and renamed by Irv Gendis in 1970, and passed in turn to siblings Sonia and Sean Hong in 2000. (Sonia was famous for sketching caricatures of customers alongside the words “Just for you” on the paper plates she served the burgers on.) Along the way, Irv’s survived several attempts at demolition, and was finally forced to move a few blocks east in 2013. Sean died suddenly last year, though, and an impending rent hike finally did the place in. Irv’s closed in November.

Source: Photo by Matt L. via Yelp

Los Angeles, California: Pot Lobby Bar, Pot Cafe, and Commissary

Korean-American chef Roy Choi’s Kogi food trucks virtually invented not only Mexican–Korean fusion food (think spicy pork and kimchi burritos) but the whole high-end food-truck movement. He subsequently sought to make his mark in L.A.’s vast Koreatown by opening three venues in the new Line Hotel in 2014: Pot, featuring Korean home cooking, a lobby bar, and a vegetable-centric greenhouse restaurant called Commissary. When pulling out of the hotel in June, Choi didn’t offer specifics, other than to note that the relationship between his company and the hotel group that runs the Line was coming to an end.