Illinois: Fat Rice
> Location: Chicago
This well-known restaurant featuring the Portuguese-Chinese fusion cooking of Macau (and given a Bib Gourmand rating from the Guide Michelin, signifying “good quality, good value cooking”) isn’t exactly closing. It is, however, converting permanently from a restaurant to the Super Fat Rice Mart, selling specialty groceries and meal kits.
> Locations: Chicago
Neither location of this 24-year-old breakfast-and-brunch favorite — Bucktown and Lincoln Park — will return, even when dining restrictions in the city are lifted. “There isn’t any kind of fund sitting in the bank to cover expenses,” owner Jeanne Roeser told Chicago’s Fox32. Anyway, she added, with occupancy limits, masks, and social distancing, diners wouldn’t enjoy the kind of experience the restaurant had long provided.
Illinois: Luella’s Gospel Bird
> Location: Chicago
A fried chicken specialist in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, opened in 2018, Luella’s has gone out of business as a result of the pandemic closing. The original location, in Lincoln Square, continues on, doing takeout and delivery, and plans to reopen when the situation stabilizes.
Illinois: La Buona Vita
> Location: La Grange
Describing the combination of the state-mandated restaurant-closing order and overall concern about the coronavirus as “the perfect storm,” the owner of this six-year-old high-end northern Italian place in a Chicago suburb announced in late March that he had “no choice but to close.”
Indiana: Next Door American Eatery
> Location: Indianapolis
This casual farm-to-table restaurant has closed indefinitely, though a spokesperson left open the possibility that it could reopen “once we get through this pandemic.” Its staff has been permanently let go in the meantime. The place, which debuted in 2016, is owned by Kimball Musk, younger brother of Tesla boss and serial entrepreneur Elon Musk.
Iowa: Trostel’s Dish
> Location: Clive
Open since 2005, this small-plates restaurant in the Des Moines metropolitan area closed temporarily in March like other Iowa establishments. On April 14, however, owner Suzanne Summy announced that she had made the “heart-wrenching” decision not to renew her lease and to close for good.
Kentucky: China Inn Restaurant
> Location: Louisville
This 33-year-old family-owned restaurant, known both for its food and for the personality of owner Penny Uraiklang, shut down definitively in late March. Uraiklang had died recently of cancer, but her family promised her they’d keep the place going. The impact of the coronavirus made that impossible, they said.