California: Pacific Dining Car
> Location: Santa Monica
The original Pacific Dining Car in downtown L.A., founded in 1921 and probably the city’s best-known steakhouse, spawned this Westside location in 1990. Serving 24 hours a day until the coronavirus lockdown, it was considered a Santa Monica essential. The owners say that the combination of the pandemic crisis and curfews imposed during the recent Black Lives Matter protests made it untenable for the restaurant to reopen.
> Location: Denver
This local institution, which billed itself as “Denver’s favorite breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner & late night place since 1983,” was one of the first places in the city to close temporarily with the onset of the pandemic. The owners had expected to reopen after a few months, but only briefly: They announced that they had agreed to sell the property to a developer, effective in January 2021. Under the circumstances, however, gearing up again for a few months seemed pointless, and they reported on Facebook that they had “decided not to reopen Racines…[because] there is just too much working against us.”
> Location: Hartford
The socially conscious Firebox, a farm-to-table restaurant opened in 2007 by the Melville Charitable Trust with a mission that included bringing “jobs, investment, and opportunity to the community,” will not be reopening. “It has become clear that we are simply unable to sustain the restaurant in its current form going forward,” according to a statement issued by Firebox representatives in early June.
Florida: Brown Dog Eatery
> Location: Fort Lauderdale
A popular two-year-old purveyor of comfort food, Brown Dog Eatery told its Facebook followers in mid-July that the place was closing permanently. Part of the Be Nice restaurant group, which includes six other establishments, Brown Dog was a victim, owner Elliot Wolf told the South Florida Sun Sentinel, of diner trepidation. “People are scared to go out right now,” he said. “I didn’t see us surviving long-term.”
Florida: 1812 Osprey A Neighborhood Bistro
> Location: Sarasota
“I won’t beat around the bush or sugar coat this,” read a statement on the restaurant’s Facebook page, “but we have closed 1812 Osprey a Neighborhood Bistro.” This American-Mediterranean establishment was opened in 2017 by the Palermo family, proprietors of Sarasota’s Oasis Cafe & Bakery, which will remain open. As for Osprey, “It was tough going all along,” Jim Palermo told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “The pandemic put the nails in the coffin.”