Special Report

50 Most Popular Restaurants That Won’t Reopen After The Pandemic

Source: Emma McIntyre / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

California: Trois Mec
> Location: Los Angeles

According to the New York Times, the proprietors of this hole-in-the-wall tasting-menu restaurant — French chef Ludo Lefebvre and his American colleagues Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (of the popular Animal and Son of a Gun) — “are surely among the most influential restaurateurs” in L.A. Unfortunately, neither their prominence nor their Michelin star helped them survive the pandemic. “Covid-19 has changed everything,” Lefebvre wrote on his Instagram page, adding, “I had to accept the reality that it was time to let the idea of reopening Trois Mec go.”

Source: Courtesy of Español Italian via Facebook

California: Español Italian
> Location: Sacramento

Español Italian Restaurant — the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the state capital, opened in 1923 — has announced that it has permanently ceased operations. Originally, the dining room at the Hotel Español, or Spanish Hotel, was known for Basque food. When the Luigi family bought it in 1959, they switched to Italian fare, moving the place to its current location in 1965. Looking at the books in early July, co-owner Perry Luigi told Valley Community Newspapers, he “kind of made the decision that we can’t stay open another month or everything will be gone.”

Source: Courtesy of John W. via Yelp

California: Biba Restaurant
> Location: Sacramento

Bologna-born Biba Caggiano ramped up the restaurant scene in the California capital when she opened this place 33 years ago. Caggiano, who went on to become a successful cookbook author and TV food personality, died last August, and her family was already reportedly having difficulty running the restaurant before the crisis. A statement signed by Caggiano’s husband and daughters on the Biba website announced “Our last day was Friday, May 8th, 2020,” explaining that “Our beloved restaurant community has been shuttered and with the uncertainty of what the future holds, we are unable to wait out this storm.”

Source: Courtesy of Lorianne L. via Yelp

California: Hakkasan
> Location: San Francisco

An upscale 170-seat Chinese restaurant, which cost a reported $7 million to build, Hakkasan closed permanently in late May after eight years of serving black cod with Champagne and honey, black truffle duck, and other luxurious specialties. The decision was made “To preserve the long-term stability of our business,” according to a company statement given to the San Francisco Chronicle.

There are 11 other outposts of the chain — three more in the U.S., two in London, and one each in five other cities in Asia and the Middle East. The Hakkasan in Shanghai, the chain’s only operation in China itself, has also closed in response to the coronavirus’s effects on business.

Source: Courtesy of terry c. via Yelp

California: Louis’
> Location: San Francisco

A San Francisco restaurant icon that opened in 1937 above the remains of the historic 1894-vintage public swimming complex called Sutro Baths, Louis’s is no more. The owners — grandchildren of the original owners — posted a message on the restaurant Facebook page in mid-July reading in part “After much deliberation and a lot of tears we have decided after 83 continuous years of business…to close our business permanently.”