50 Most Popular Restaurants That Won’t Reopen After the Pandemic

Source: Frank K. via Yelp

Florida: La Tropicana
> Location: Tampa

Presidents George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, along with several Florida governors, were among the many customers of this 1963-vintage Cuban café over the years. A focus of public life in Tampa’s historic Ybor City neighborhood, La Tropicana also served a wide range of less famous customers. In explaining why the place was closing down, proprietor Gio Peña told the Tampa Bay Times, “I’d say 80 percent of my regular customers are older people. They are afraid to come out.” He added “We were doing good. Business was steady. And then came COVID.”

Source: Courtesy of Anne and Bill's Restaurant via Facebook

Georgia: Anne and Bill’s
> Location: Forest Park

After 46 years in business in this Atlanta suburb, Anne and Bill’s — known for its meat-and-three menu (various meats served with a variety of side dishes), its breakfasts, and its homemade desserts — is going out of business. A statement from the restaurant in mid-May said that “our sales have dropped so low that we cannot continue to operate….” A second location, in McDonough, southeast of Forest Park, has also closed.

Source: Courtesy of La Sardine via Facebook

Illinois: La Sardine
> Location: Chicago

“After much thought and negotiation, it breaks our heart to announce that after 22 years, we will be permanently closing,” read a statement on this popular French bistro’s Instagram page in mid-August. Le Sardine’s founders, Jean-Claude and Susanne Poilevey, both died in recent years (Jean-Claude in 2016, his wife last year). Their son, Oliver, who had been running the place, told the Chicago Tribune, “A month, month and a half ago, I thought we were going to make it.”

Source: Courtesy of Passerotto via Facebook

Illinois: Passerotto
> Location: Chicago

A five-star review from Time Out didn’t help this place, which the publication described as an “Italian-influenced Korean-American eatery,” survive the pandemic. The restaurant, which the review called a “lively ecosystem” with a “boisterous bar,” served a takeout Farewell Menu until it turned out the lights for good on Sept. 12.

Source: Courtesy of Ronny's Steakhouse via Facebook

Illinois: Ronny’s Original Steakhouse
> Location: Chicago

This bargain-priced cafeteria-style steak emporium, which opened in another location in 1963, has called it quits. “Farewell, Chicago,” read a message on the establishment’s Facebook page, dated Sept. 6. “It has been an historic run; it’s time to turn off that famous neon sign one final time.”