Special Report

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

Source: Courtesy of Marguerite C. via Yelp

California: Bäco Mercat
> Location: Los Angeles

In what Time Out described as “a shocking turn,” noted Los Angeles chef-restaurateur Josef Centeno — whose other establishments, Orsa and Winston, has a Michelin star — closed Bäco Mercat early in August. Known for its flatbread sandwiches, fried chicken, and seasonal small plates, the establishment is credited with having kicked off the lively downtown L.A. dining scene when it opened in 2011. “I’m not one for dwelling too much on anything,” wrote Centeno philosophically in a statement on the restaurant’s Instagram page when he announced its closing. “I know that there is always a beginning, a middle and an end.”

Source: Maruko X. via Yelp

California: Dong Il Jang
> Location: Los Angeles

Los Angeles is home to the world’s largest Korean community outside Korea itself, and its ever-growing Koreatown neighborhood has long been famous for its many restaurants, serving both traditional and modern Korean fare. Dong Il Jang was one of the oldest of these, launched 41 years ago. In announcing on Instagram that this year was their last, the owners wrote, “Over the four decades we have been through many difficult situations but the Covid-19 pandemic has made it very difficult for us to survive …”

Source: Kenneth N. via Yelp

California: Patina
> Location: Los Angeles

German-born, French-trained chef Joachim Splichal opened the original Patina in Hollywood in 1989, moving it downtown to the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Center in 2003. Patina eventually spawned an empire of more than 50 other restaurants in five states and Japan, and while Splichal no longer owns the Patina Restaurant Group, the original had remained his flagship. Though no official announcement of its closing has been made, employees recently received letters of termination, effective Aug. 15, and the restaurant no longer appears on the group website.

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.”