Special Report

50 Most Popular Restaurants That Have Closed Permanently Due to the Pandemic

Source: Courtesy of Café Poca Cosa

Arizona: Café Poca Cosa
> Location: Tucson

Variously described by local media as “world-renowned” and a “landmark,” this Tucson Mexican institution was born in the mid-1980s at a different location, moving to larger quarters in 1989. It is now closed for good. A statement on the restaurant’s website quotes proprietor Suzana Davila as saying that after “months of conversation and consideration” with her children, she has decided that remaining open is unfeasible. She blames “the impact of a world pandemic that did not discriminate even with the most successful of businesses.”

Source: Courtesy of Dialogue Restaurant

California: Dialogue
> Location: Los Angeles

Chef Dave Beran, a veteran of Grant Achatz’s Michelin-three-star Alinea in Chicago, opened this 18-seat tasting-menu establishment in 2017, promptly scoring a rave review from LA Weekly and going on to win a Michelin star of his own in 2019. When COVID-19 restrictions made operating the restaurant untenable — there was little room for social distancing in the tiny dining room — Beran tried rebranding the place as Tidbits, a balcony wine bar serving small plates. That experiment came to an end on Nov. 7, and Beran has now given up the place completely.

California: M.Y. China
> Location: San Francisco

This upscale regional Chinese restaurant was opened in 2012 by chef Martin Yan — known for his many TV food shows and appearances as a judge on “Iron Chef” and other cooking competition programs — and partners Ronny and Willy Ng of the Bay Area’s Koi Palace restaurants. The place closed for what was supposed to be a temporary hiatus earlier this year, but a spokesperson for the Westfield San Francisco Centre mall, where M.Y. China was located, told Eater that it “will not be returning to the center” even after the pandemic subsides.

Source: Courtesy of Farfallon

California: Farfallon
> Location: San Francisco

Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as a “fantastical seafood restaurant,” Farfallon was noted for its over-the-top decor, which included jellyfish lamps hanging from the ceiling, octopus stools, and a staircase covered with 50,000 iridescent blue marbles. But now the restaurant has called it quits. The 23-year-old establishment has been closed since March, and co-owner Pete Sittnick told the Chronicle that “It was just not going to make sense given all the ramifications of the pandemic for Farallon to try to reopen either as it was — as a fine-dining restaurant with a lot of seats — or to try to think about how to pivot the restaurant.”

Source: Courtesy of Eric U. via Yelp

California: Pacific Dining Car
> Location: Los Angeles

This legendary steakhouse’s 30-year-old Santa Monica offshoot closed for good in June. Now it’s the original’s turn. Almost a century old (it was founded in 1921), this downtown landmark was open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It was famous for serving customers of every description, dressed in everything from black tie to beach togs. An article two years ago in the Los Angeles Times noted that servers have “waited on strippers, dispensary owners and the San Antonio Spurs.” A statement on the restaurant website says, “We’re taking a beat to assess what next steps are regarding COVID-19 city mandates” — but the Dining Car’s furniture, equipment, and memorabilia are being sold off at auction, and owner Wes Idol says that the operation is switching to online sales only.