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.
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.
Michigan: Cassel’s Restaurant
> Location: Northville
This 27-year-old American restaurant in a suburb of Detroit, whose menu encompassed salads, burgers, sandwiches, and traditional dinner entrees like roast turkey, country-fried steak, and spaghetti and meatballs, closed its doors for good on Jan. 24. Owner Missy Collins tried to keep the business going but told Hometime Life that even when she was able to serve indoors, some diners were simply afraid to come in. On Jan. 12, Collins posted a message on Facebook reading in part, “I have made the tough decision to surrender.” Adding, “The financial and emotional burdens are more than I can take.”
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.”
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.”
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