Minnesota: Fuji Ya
> Location: Minneapolis
When Reiko Weston opened Fuji Ya in 1959, it was apparently the first-ever Japanese restaurant in Minnesota. It expanded and spawned offshoots. Weston died in 1988, and two years later the place closed down — until her daughter brought it back to life in 1997. The restaurant shuttered temporarily in early May, but by the end of that month, its website carried the message: “Thank you for your support! Unfortunately we are closing our doors.”
> Location: St. Louis
Occupying a building that traces its history back two centuries, this institution in the city’s Lemay neighborhood — featuring what it billed as “The Original St. Louis Style Pizza” — opened in 1954. It became a family favorite, and comments on the restaurant’s Facebook page sentimentally recall first dates, birthdays, anniversaries, and other momentous occasions celebrated there. It was also on Facebook that the owners announced that Aug. 30 would be the restaurant’s last night of service, “Due to covid and unforeseen circumstances …”
Nevada: Santa Fe Basque Restaurant
> Location: Reno
One of the best-known of a diminishing number of old-style Basque boarding houses/restaurants in Nevada, Idaho, and California, the 71-year-old Santa Fe served simple, hearty, multi-course meals in family-style abundance. A message on the restaurant’s Facebook page reads, “It’s official we have closed our doors. 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.”
New Jersey: Buddakan
> Location: Atlantic City
Philadelphia-based restaurant mogul Steven Starr has announced that the Atlantic City branch of his Buddakan, which features “modern Asian cuisine,” will not be reopening. Buddakans in New York City and Philadelphia remain in business. The New Jersey location, on Playground Pier, has been closed since March. “We couldn’t continue in this environment with the coronavirus and the current state of the pier,” Starr told the Associated Press. “There was barely anyone left there except us.” Another Starr property on the pier, The Continental, won’t reopen either.
New York: 88 Lan Zhou
> Location: New York City
This 13-year-old Chinatown institution, famed for its pork and chive dumplings and its hand-pulled noodles, announced in early August that it would be “closed forever” as of Aug. 15. All the publicity generated by the announcement boosted business, and the restaurant decided to stay open at least temporarily. Early in October, however, a post on the restaurant’s Instagram page read, “With a heavy heart, we are announcing that our final day of operations will be Oct 31st, 2020. We tried everything we could to stay afloat, but in the end, it was just too difficult to just survive in these current conditions.”
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