Special Report

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

Source: Courtesy of Reno's Family Restaurant / Facebook

Maine: Reno’s Family Restaurant
> Location: Caribou

“People from Aroostook County and beyond have been enjoying Reno’s Family Restaurant’s one-of-a-kind pizzas for over half a century,” enthused an article in The County in January. Co-owner Danny Corriveau added that he hoped to continue running the 55-year-old place for the next decade. Then came COVID-19. The Corriveau family posted a notice on Reno’s website, announcing that the restaurant would close on Sept. 30. “Face masks, plexiglass shields, it’s just not what Reno’s was,” Corriveau told WAGM-TV.

Source: Courtesy of Ace G. via Yelp

Massachusetts: Stoddard’s Fine Food & Ale
> Location: Boston

Once hailed as one of the best gastropubs in America by Food & Wine, this popular 10-year-old aftershow stop for patrons of the Downtown Crossing district’s theaters has permanently turned out the lights. “It’s time to say goodbye,” wrote owner Frankie Stavrianopoulos on Facebook. According to a Twitter post by one of his partners in the enterprise, Ace Gershfield, the place counted on revenue not only from theater patrons but also from local office workers, and both groups were now largely absent from the area.

Source: Courtesy of Dan R. via Yelp

Massachusetts: Legal Test Kitchen
> Location: Boston

A branch of the famed Massachusetts fish and shellfish chain Legal Seafoods, this once-bustling 15-year-old establishment in Boston’s Seaport district is now out of business, according to information reported on Aug. 27. “Due to the lack of area business and travel … “the company felt it didn’t make sense to reopen the location,” Legal explained to Boston.com. There is one other Test Kitchen location at the city’s Logan Airport (the idea was that the Test Kitchens would experiment on dishes not found on the chain’s usual menus). It is currently closed but will reopen in early fall. Meanwhile, 11 other Legal Seafood locations around the state remain open.

Source: Courtesy of Dan's Diner via Facebook

Michigan: Dan’s Diner
> Location: Grand Rapids

Built in 1954 in New Jersey — the so-called Diner Capital of the World — and originally called Pal’s Diner, this old-style eatery was moved to Grand Rapids in the early 1990s, becoming Dan’s Diner when chef Dan Chudik bought it in 2018. The diner was able to stay open in the pandemic’s early days, alternating between dine-in and takeout as Michigan restrictions changed, and receiving PPP money to help pay employees. However, when the state issued a new ban on indoor dining on Nov. 18 for a minimum of three weeks, Chudik threw in the towel. “Whether or not shutting down restaurants is right or not, who knows?” he told Michigan Live. “But if we can lower the numbers and keep people from dying, then you got to do what you got to do.”

Michigan: Wolfgang Puck Steak
> Location: Detroit

As further proof, if any were needed, that even restaurants run by world-famous celebrity chefs can’t necessarily survive the pandemic, Wolfgang Puck has announced that he will not reopen his eight-year-old upscale steakhouse in the MGM Grand Detroit casino. Though he hasn’t specifically blamed the effects of the coronavirus for the closure, the restaurant has been dark throughout the course of the pandemic, and business would now be restricted as Michigan has reopened casinos with only limited capacity. Earlier this year, two other Puck properties shut down — Five Sixty in Dallas and The Source in Washington, D.C.