South Dakota: RED Steakhouse
> Location: Vermillion
Opened 10 years ago, RED aimed to provide what owners Jerad and Peggy Higman called, “an upscale experience with small town warmth.” One of the best-known restaurants in this college town in southeastern South Dakota, near the Nebraska border, closed, supposedly temporarily in March, but on Sept. 4, the Higmans announced, “with much regret” that it wouldn’t reopen.
> Location: Various
This iconic 73-year-old Texas cafeteria chain, with some 60 locations currently open across the Lone Star State, announced on Sept. 8 that it was liquidating its assets. Generations of Texans have flocked to Luby’s for its chicken-fried steak and other comfort food (it was a particular family favorite for Sunday lunch). The chain responded to the emerging pandemic in March by temporarily closing restaurants and furloughing more than half its corporate employees. In June, Luby’s revealed that it was putting its restaurants up for sale, at least partially, due to the effects of COVID-19. The decision to shut the operation down was made to “maximize value for our stockholders, while also preserving the flexibility to pursue a sale of the company should a compelling offer that delivers superior value be made,” Luby’s CEO and president Christopher J. Pappas said in astatement. The company also owns the nationwide Fuddruckers burger chain, which is also being liquidated.
Texas: Cafe Texan
> Location: Huntsville
This iconic 83-year-old establishment north of Houston, said to have been the oldest cafÃ© in Texas still in its original location, is gone for good. Owner John Strickland told The Huntsville Item that he had remained closed for months out of concern for the health of his customers, many of whom were seniors, and his staff. However, he said, “I had not intended to close it permanently.” When he realized that that would be necessary, he sold the building, which will apparently be turned into a museum.
Washington: Pacific Grill
> Location: Tacoma
Tacoma’s News Tribune described Pacific Grill, which celebrated its 15th anniversary this year, as an “iconic restaurant that helped resurrect downtown Tacoma.” But it has now passed away itself. A press release issued Sept. 10 by co-owners Joe Hardwick Jr. and chef Gordon Naccarato blamed “the insurmountable impacts of the continuing Coronavirus and subsequent government-mandated shutdowns” for the restaurant’s demise.
Washington: HaNa Sushi
> Location: Seattle
The longest-running business in Capitol Hill’s popular Broadway Alley mall, opened in 1989, HaNa was described on the Vanishing Seattle Facebook page as “relaxed, homey & down to earth, with a steady stream of regulars & folks who’ve been coming here for decades.” They won’t be coming any longer. Owner Aung Aung confirmed HaNa’s permanent demise to the Capitol Hill Seattle blog, saying “Now is a very hard time. I don’t know about Broadway right now.”