Little Bird Bistro
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30 Beloved Restaurants and Bars That Closed This Year

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Little Bird Bistro
Little Bird Bistro/Facebook

Thanks for the Memories

Nearly everyone has a favorite restaurant or bar. Whether you've been going for decades or are a recent convert, there's something special about saying "this is my regular place." And when that go-to closes, it can leave a hole in your heart and an empty feeling in your stomach. These 30 popular establishments across the country are some of those that said goodbye in 2019. But don't worry; perhaps one of these under-the-radar restaurants will become your new go-to.

Don & Charlie's
Don & Charlie's/Facebook

Don & Charlie's | Scottsdale, Arizona

Crammed with sports memorabilia from wall to wall, Don & Charlie's was a Scottsdale landmark known for its hearty ribs and steaks. It was also the unofficial spring training headquarters for a who's who of Major League Baseball royalty past and present. (Baseball commissioner Bud Selig had a steak named after him.) "The whole interior was full of baseball memorabilia including baseballs signed by the greats. It also had pictures of all the famous people who had eaten there throughout the years," said Zach Jolley, an Arizona native and blogger. "This was a restaurant I spent many birthdays at. For over 30 years my parents ate here." The legendary establishment closed in April to make way for a boutique hotel.

Two Toms
Delia C./Yelp

Two Toms | Brooklyn, New York

Open since 1948, Two Toms was known for its hearty Italian-American pasta and chops served family-style. The unpretentious Brooklyn eatery had long enjoyed a loyal following among New York's police officers, firefighters, and other municipal workers. Owner Anthony Catapano, who began working at the restaurant when he was still a kid, told Eater that he'd decided to sell out in part because the Gowanus neighborhood was gentrifying rapidly and younger diners had different tastes. "You wake up one day and you say you've had enough," Catapano says. And now, "the price is right." (Looking for some classic red-sauce eateries that are still hanging on? Be sure to check out 50 Best Old-School Italian Restaurants in America.)

The Grape
The Grape Restaurant/Facebook

The Grape | Dallas

First, the Sunday brunch offerings came to an end. Then the restaurant announced it was closing altogether. An institution in its Lower Greenville neighborhood, The Grape ended a 47-year run in October. The cause? A lease renewal and owners deciding to embark on a new adventure. Over the years, The Grape had developed a reputation for serving the best burger in Texas — a classic cheeseburger topped with horseradish pickles, bacon, and Vermont cheddar.

Related: Best Hole-in-the-Wall Burger Joint in Every State

Doyle's Boston
Malini G./Yelp

Doyle's | Boston

Open for 137 years, Doyle's Cafe was a landmark in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood, beloved by local residents, journalists, politicians, and celebrities. This Boston institution served its last drink in October. Though it managed to survive for more than a century, the owner told the Boston Globe that it was becoming too expensive to keep the doors open anymore with real estate prices in the area skyrocketing.

Kim's Restaurant
Ronald M./Yelp

Kim's Restaurant | Troy, Michigan

A Detroit-area landmark for nearly 45 years, Kim's was the place to go for classic American-style Chinese food. When the owners announced on Facebook that they'd be retiring at the end of August, hundreds of fans shared memories of their favorite Kim's meals: holiday parties, birthdays, and family reunions. "Kim's was my very favorite restaurant when I was a kid. Sad to see you go! Thank you for the great food and the great memories!" one Facebook fan wrote in response.

Related: Best Chinese Restaurant in Every State

Sam Jordan's
Jesse C./Yelp

Sam Jordan's | San Francisco

A landmark in San Francisco's Bayview neighborhood since 1959, Sam's was the first black-owned bar in San Francisco. Opened by community activist and former boxing champion Sam Jordan, the bar was later taken over by Jordan's children. In recent years, the bar struggled to stay afloat financially. More than a half-million dollars in debt, the owners even appeared on the TV show "Bar Rescue" in a bid to save the beloved neighborhood bar. Though efforts were made to save the business, the building was listed for sale this year and its last call was held in November.

It's Greek to Me
It's Greek to Me/Facebook

It's Greek to Me | Minneapolis

Opened in 1982 by two brothers from Greece, It's Greek to Me was a landmark in southeast Minneapolis' Lyn-Lake neighborhood, as famous for its outdoor patio as it was for its Greek specialties. After changing hands a few years ago, however, the restaurant struggled to stay afloat. In September, the owners announced on Facebook that they would be closing, something fans greeted with dismay. "I am crying!," wrote one person.

Rice Bar
RiceBar/Facebook

Rice Bar | Los Angeles

A hit when it opened four years ago, Rice Bar was a small, seven-seat shop that served Filipino food, which had fans lining up out the door. The Los Angeles Times even acknowledged the closing of this tiny hotspot operated by Charles Olalia, who served dishes from his childhood in Manila. (He once famously served a different version of adobo, a popular Filipino dish, every single week for the better part.) Olalia decided to close Rice Bar when his lease ran out.

Balena
Balena/Facebook

Balena | Chicago

After an electrical fire closed Italian restaurant Balena in 2017, owners of the popular Lincoln Park establishment vowed to rebuild. They'd already enjoyed five years of steady business, and Chef Chris Pandel was optimistic about reopening. But after two years of waiting, patrons learned the sad news: Balena would not be returning after all. It was an emotional ending for Pandel, who hosted a series of "remembrance" dinners for the beloved restaurant in November.

Little Bird Bistro
Little Bird Bistro/Facebook

Little Bird Bistro | Portland, Oregon

Operated by one of the most famous chefs in Portland, Little Bird was an inventive bistro that featured a stellar wine list and an unforgettable late-night menu. But after a decade in business, the restaurant's run came to an end at the end of October. "Our hearts are warmed with the memories of all the people who have worked here over the years, and how Little Bird has been a part of their lives' journeys. We are heartbroken to have to see Little Bird close, but look forward with enthusiasm to what lies ahead," chef Gabriel Rucker said in a press release. (Find out why Portland is among The Best Cities in America for People Who Love Food.)

Restaurant Eugene
Tatiana H./Yelp

Restaurant Eugene | Atlanta

Chef Linton Hopkins announced earlier this year that after 15 years in business, his Restaurant Eugene in the Buckhead neighborhood would be no more. A fine-dining establishment known for a tasting menu that changed nightly, Restaurant Eugene earned Hopkins a James Beard Award. In its place, Hopkins said he plans to open a more casual eatery serving soups, salads, entrees, and Southern seafood. "We live in the neighborhood and thought about the type of place we'd want to go eat," Hopkins told Atlanta Magazine.

Pubbelly Miami Beach
Pubbelly Miami Beach/Facebook

Pubbelly | Miami

This well-regarded gastropub, known for innovative munchies like short rib dumplings and chorizo stuffed dates, put the Sunset Harbor neighborhood on Miami's foodie map almost as soon as it opened in 2011. Pubbelly closed this year due in no small part to the overwhelming success of a related venture, Pubbelly Sushi. That restaurant has grown from one outlet to six, with locations in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. "Once we started to grow, I couldn't be there to cook every day," Chef-owner José Mendín told the Miami Herald.

Boat Basin Café
Irin C./Yelp

Boat Basin Café | New York

Perched on the banks of the Hudson River, the Boat Basin Cafe was a truly special spot on New York's Upper West Side, where patrons could snack on sandwiches and salads al fresco while watching the boats at the nearby dock bob in the water. But in early October, Gothamist reported that the seasonal restaurant would not be reopening in the spring. The closure was due to ongoing renovation of the Hudson River Greenway area.

Gene's Po-Boys
RunAway B./Yelp

Gene's Po-Boys | New Orleans

New Orleans and po' boys are practically synonymous. And Gene's Po-Boys attracted everyone from Beyoncé and Jay-Z to Drake over the past 50 years with its legendary sausage sandwiches. In February, owner Eugene "Gene" Theriot listed the building for sale. And though he held out hope that the future owner might allow the restaurant to remain open, the building was instead slated to be turned into condos. Gene's, which was originally opened in 1968 by Theriot's father, became so famous that it even appeared in a 2018 episode of "The Simpsons."

Related: 50 Best Subs, Grinders, and Po' Boys Across America

New Harmony Philadelphia
Yembur A./Yelp

New Harmony | Philadelphia

A kosher, vegetarian Chinese restaurant, New Harmony was the last of its kind in Philly's Chinatown neighborhood. When they closed in August after 23 years, patrons filled the restaurant's Facebook with loving tributes and expressions of sadness. "Through New Harmony, I was able to be a part of the great vegan community of Philadelphia, and supporting them with amazing food has been my pleasure," chef Ming Chu wrote.

El Patio Austin, Tex.
El Patio/Facebook

El Patio | Austin, Texas

An iconic Tex-Mex restaurant located just north of the University of Texas campus, El Patio fed hungry students and Austinites for 65 years. Established in 1954, the place was famous for its mouthwatering enchiladas and for the quirky habit of serving saltine crackers (not tortilla chips) with salsa. The restaurant was founded by a Lebanese couple, Paul and Mary Ann Joseph, and in later years the couple's children took over the business. The beloved establishment even had some servers who had been on staff for more than four decades. After so many years in business, however, the family decided it was time to call it quits this summer. "Quite simply, we are proud of our legacy, but ready to move on to other endeavors," the Joseph family said in a press release.

Related: The Best Mexican Restaurant in Every State

Woodward Table
Torya M./Yelp

Woodward Table | Washington D.C.

Woodward Table was making critics' best-of lists as recently as this year; Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema described it as a place "I could be tempted to be a regular." Opened in 2012, the restaurant was famous for such offerings as wood-fired flatbreads, ample salads, shrimp and grits, and crab cake BLTs. All is not lost however. Hames Beard award-winning chef Jeff Buben, who helmed Woodward Table, operates the French restaurant Bistros Bis.

Courtside
Daniel M./Yelp

Courtside | Cambridge, Massachusetts

Family-owned since 1943, this beloved dive bar was a gathering place for sports fans and karaoke singers alike. "We're the last of the neighborhood dive bars," owner John Alberts told the Boston Globe when he announced in October that Courtside would close. "I used to think that was a bad term, but it isn't. We have reasonable prices, and we're a friendly place." Alberts, who is in his late 70s, told the Globe that health problems were the reason why he and his wife decided to close. (Looking to check out some other classic dives? Check out 40 Hole-in-the-Wall Bars That Have Survived the Decades.)

Canal Club
Canal Club/Facebook

Canal Club | Los Angeles

A popular hangout for locals and legendary for its happy hours, Canal Club in Venice ended two decades of business in August. The restaurant, which served everything from Asian to Latin cuisine, was challenged by increasing labor costs and was unable to pursue its goals of bringing live music and dancing to the venue. The owners posted a farewell message on Facebook before closing, which prompted an outpouring of sadness from its fans and patrons. "Very sad. I had my wedding reception there. Lots of amazing times, and the best lobster roll ever," wrote one heartbroken fan.

Related: The Top Latin American Restaurants Across the U.S.

Taiyo Ramen
Taiyo Ramen/Facebook

Taiyo Ramen | Decatur, Georgia

Featuring a menu that included seafood ramen with mussels and Georgia shrimp, duck ramen and more, Taiyo Ramen introduced Atlantans to the humble Japanese noodles in 2014. In June, foodies on Facebook learned the unhappy news: Raiyo Ramen was closing. "Five years ago when we first opened our doors, we were the first restaurant ITP which served craft ramen every day. Today, ramen is available everywhere in Atlanta and that thrills us." Fans expressed sadness in comment after comment, with one stating "Truly sad news. My first ever ramen place; I'll miss it dearly. I'll need the recipe for the Tonkotsu Ramen."

Beeswing
Beeswing/Yelp

Beeswing | Portland, Oregon

With its globally inspired breakfast and lunch offerings, Beeswing quickly became a beloved part of the Portland restaurant community after it opened in 2017. Their biscuits were particularly popular, described by one critic as ""a layered high-rise architecture of buttermilk and air." Though valiant efforts were made to keep this restaurant open, including a Kickstarter campaign, it wasn't meant to be. Marissa Lorette and Ian Watson, who organized the fundraising effort, were unsuccessful in their bid to buy the restaurant from its owner, Kevin Dorne.

Sitka & Spruce
Sitka and Spruce/Facebook

Sitka & Spruce | Seattle

There's still a little more time to dine at the Capitol Hill restaurant Sitka & Spruce, but its days are numbered. The restaurant will ring out 2019 (and 14 years in business) on Dec. 31. Chef Matt Dillon, who opened the restaurant in 2006, quickly garnered praise for his Pacific Northwest-inspired cuisine, including being named Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine. (He received a James Beard Award in 2012). Not all is lost for Dillon fans though. He still owns several other establishments in the city, including Corson Building, which features a tasting menu, and Old Chaser Farm on Vashon Island.

Barragan's
Barragan's Mexican Restaurant/Facebook

Barragan's | Glendale, California

After 38 years in business, Barragan's owners permanently posted the closed sign in August. The popular restaurant, which served casual Mexican and Mexican-American fare, was once part of a regional chain; today only the Burbank, Calif., location remains. "We are grateful to the Glendale community and our longtime customers who have made this journey possible," the owners wrote at the time of closing, according to Eater. A similar note posted on the restaurant's Facebook page prompted nearly 100 comments from patrons and fans.

Melios Bros Char Bar
Melios Bros Char Bar/Facebook

Melios Bros Char Bar | Dallas

A down-home restaurant known for its charbroiled burgers, Melios Bros. was opened in 1970 by three Dallas siblings. Beyond its legendary burgers, Melios Bros. was also known for its pancakes, and steak sandwiches. But in an August Facebook post, the owners bid their goodbyes. "Our little blue and white house on lower Greenville has become a landmark because of the love you all have shown us. We would like to let our customers know that September 22nd will be our last day. We have been humbled to serve and meet the generations of families that have walked into our restaurant."

Eastside Café
Eddie P./Yelp

Eastside Café | Austin, Texas

A trailblazer in Austin's farm-to-table dining scene, the Eastside Café operated for 31 years in an old wood-frame house not far from the University of Texas campus. The small café carved out a niche for itself based on sourcing local ingredients (some of it grown on site) and offering simple menu items such as chicken club sandwiches and grilled meatloaf. In a statement, owner Elaine Martin said, "Serving the East Austin community is something that is incredibly close to my heart. As I close the doors of Eastside Cafe, I'm inspired by all the memories made, food served and community encouraged in this house."

May Restaurant and Lounge
May Restaurant and Lounge/Facebook

May Restaurant and Lounge | Seattle

A beloved Thai restaurant that opened in 2007 in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood, May Restaurant and Lounge was perhaps best known for its outstanding pad thai, which was prepared tableside for diners. The restaurant closed without warning in early November, according to neighborhood blog Wallyhood.org, leaving their columnist to lament the closing of the local favorite. Fans of Thai food will be happy to know that another Thai eatery is slated for the same location.

Hominy Grill
Hiram M./Yelp

Hominy Grill | Charleston, South Carolina

If you loved brunch, chances are you went to Hominy Grill. The beloved breakfast spot was a fixture in Charleston for almost a quarter century. But in April, the restaurant's run came to an end when chef and owner Robert Stehling announced he was ready for a new challenge. Announcing the closing on Instagram, the James Beard award-winning chef posted, "When we first opened Hominy Grill in 1996, our goals were simple — we wanted to explore the traditions and history of the low country through our food. And we wanted to create a neighborhood restaurant with a sense of place."

Related: Best Brunch in Every State

Cafe Bizou
Jennifer H./Yelp

Cafe Bizou | Los Angeles

After a quarter-century in business, the popular French bistro Café Bizou quietly announced on its website that it would be saying goodbye to the neighborhood in March. Restaurant owner Philippe Gris said had decided not to renew the lease on the location. "Cafe Bizou offered some of the best food in the area at the most reasonable prices. For less than $100, you could enjoy a delicious, French-inspired meal for two," said patron Barbara Nevers. "The food was so good that I always left feeling like I should have paid more."

General Deb's
General Deb's/Facebook

General Deb's | Brooklyn, New York

One only need look at the flood of comments on General Deb's Instagram account to understand how heartbroken its patrons were when the Brooklyn restaurant announced its closure in October. "I am truly sad and sorry to hear this. Thank you for all of the amazing meals and good times! You will never be forgotten," wrote one fan. Opened in 2018 by a team of restaurateurs known for the Michelin-starred Italian restaurant Faro, General Deb's specialized in modern Szechuan cuisine. It wasn't lack of customers that spelled the end of the restaurant, however; it was a gas leak.

Saigon House Houston
Saigon House Midtown/Facebook

Saigon House | Houston

"Noooooo." That was the response of one Saigon House fan when the popular 2-year-old restaurant announced its closure on Facebook in September. Known for its Vietnamese specialties, especially pho, as well as Southern favorites like crawfish, Saigon House was a must in Midtown for Houston foodies. "We did not expect or imagine the love we received from ya," owner Tony Nguyen wrote on Facebook.