California: Pacific Dining Car
> Location: Santa Monica
The original Pacific Dining Car in downtown L.A., founded in 1921 and probably the city’s best-known steakhouse, spawned this Westside location in 1990. Serving 24 hours a day until the coronavirus lockdown, it was considered a Santa Monica essential. The owners say that the combination of the pandemic crisis and curfews imposed during the recent protests made it untenable for the restaurant to reopen.
The contents of the place — including kitchen equipment, table settings, furniture, and paintings — were sold at auction in June.
Colorado: 20th Street Café
> Location: Denver
After 74 years in business under three generations of the Okuno family, this neighborhood breakfast-and-lunch establishment has called it quits. The place has survived “up-turns and crazy downturns in the economy,” wrote current owners Rod and Karen Okuno on the restaurant website, “but this final one proved to be insurmountable for our little corner of the world.”
Florida: Le Sirenuse Restaurant & Champagne Bar
> Location: Miami
One of two luxury restaurants in the 1930s-vintage Four Seasons Surf Club hotel — the other being the Surf Club Restaurant, run by famed chef Thomas Keller — Le Sirenuse is now permanently closed. “The adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the South Florida community […] have required us to make this difficult decision,” reads a statement on the three-year-old restaurant’s website. The original Le Sirenuse on Italy’s Amalfi Coast remains open, as does Keller’s restaurant — though his similarly themed TAK Room in Manhattan (see below) is another COVID-19 casualty.
Florida: La Tropicana
> Location: Tampa
Presidents George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, along with several Florida governors, were among the many customers of this 1963-vintage Cuban café over the years. A focus of public life in Tampa’s historic Ybor City neighborhood, La Tropicana also served a wide range of less famous customers. In explaining why the place was closing down, proprietor Gio Peña told the Tampa Bay Times, “I’d say 80 percent of my regular customers are older people. They are afraid to come out.” He added “We were doing good. Business was steady. And then came COVID.”
Georgia: Anne and Bill’s
> Location: Forest Park
After 46 years in business in this Atlanta suburb, Anne and Bill’s — known for its meat-and-three menu (various meats served with a variety of side dishes), its breakfasts, and its homemade desserts — is going out of business. A statement from the restaurant in mid-May said that “our sales have dropped so low that we cannot continue to operate….” A second location, in McDonough, southeast of Forest Park, has also closed.