Saddest Restaurant Closures of 2021 – 24/7 Wall St.
The pandemic has sounded the death knell for many of America’s most famous restaurants. Among the victims in 2020 were iconic institutions such as K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen in New Orleans, Manhattan’s “21” club and the 99-year-old Pacific Dining Car in Los Angeles. Lesser-known neighborhood reserves that have served their communities for generations have also been cut down. (Here is a longer list of the saddest restaurant closings of 2020.)
New places run by celebrity chefs weren’t immune either – see McCrady’s in Charleston and Blackbird in Chicago. And chains have been hit hard as well, with familiar operations like Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Burger King and Applebee shutting many stores, and some including California Pizza Kitchen and Chuck E. Cheese filing for bankruptcy. (Here are some restaurant chains whose sales actually increased in 2020.)
While the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines in early 2021 seemed to promise hope for the hard-hit restaurant industry, the relief was only temporary as new variants of the coronavirus swept the country. in addition to low vaccination rates and respect for public health. Politics has frustrated efforts to contain the virus.
As in 2020, thousands of restaurants at all levels closed in 2021. The coronavirus has been a major contributing factor in many cases, directly or indirectly. But some long-established venues have closed because owners wanted to retire or because their sites had been sold.
Click here to see the saddest restaurant closings of 2021
While the demise of any restaurant is unfortunate, some closures seem particularly sad, especially when the place has achieved iconic status and / or has become an important part of the social fabric of its community. To compile our list of the saddest restaurant closings of 2021, 24/7 Tempo searched dozens of restaurant news and reviews sites and local and regional magazine and newspaper sites across the country.