In the earliest days of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., it was clear that restaurants would be dramatically affected by the social distancing and lifestyle changes necessary to slow the spread of the virus as dining rooms were ordered shut in many states, including Virginia.
In mid-March, Tom Colicchio — the “Top Chef” head judge, restaurateur and activist — was making the national media rounds to warn that 75% or more of independent restaurants would not survive without immediate and swift financial assistance.
The aid that has come has been limited, paltry, and overwhelming ineffective in staving off business closures.
As 2020 comes to a close, dining rooms are open, but limited seating, continued closure of the bar area of Virginia restaurants, hour limitations, colder weather and COVID-19 cases spiking are all factors that continue to hurt local restaurant sales.
And as aid continues to be delayed for everyone, including restaurants,, the closings mount.
These are the Richmond-area restaurants that have closed for good since the start of the pandemic:
Pupatella Pizza - Glen Allen location - added
Brook's Diner - added
Asado Wing and Taco Company - added
Tottering Teacup - added
Dutch & Company - moved from temporary to permanent closing
Crab Louie’s Seafood Tavern - moved from temporary to permanent closing
Ma & Pa's Diner
Root Stock Provisions in Shockoe Bottom
Awful Arthur's on Midlothian
McAllister’s at Gayton Crossing
The Angry Mussels
Urban Farmhouse - Scott's Addition location
TD’s Smokehouse BBQ
Amici di Enzo
Jimmy John's Carytown location
Metro Grill, the restaurant and bar on Robinson Street in the Fan District
Mojo’s restaurant at 733 W. Cary St.
WPA Bakery — Church Hill location
Caturra on Grove, near Libbie and Grove avenues
Shockoe Espresso and Roastery, a coffee shop in Shockoe Slip
Lamplighter Coffee’s VCU-area location
The Naked Onion, a takeout restaurant on Cary Street
Morton’s Steakhouse in Shockoe Slip closed in May.
Richmond on Broad Cafe in downtown Richmond closed at the start of the pandemic and later said it would not reopen.
Sandston Smokehouse in Henrico announced in September that it would close.
Stump’s Pig & Pint in Jackson Ward closed this summer but has a food truck and is seeking a new location.
Bocata Latin Grill in South Richmond said in September that it would close for good.
Pizza Hut’s Patterson Avenue location
Bob Evans at 5431 Glenside Drive
Elsa Café and Market, an Ethiopian restaurant on Arthur Ashe Boulevard
BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in Short Pump — and the restaurant has been removed from the company’s website.
Saltbox Oyster Co., an oyster bar at Willow Lawn
Pink Flamingo, a Baja-style taqueria in the former Pasture restaurant space at 416 E. Grace St.
Ponies & Pints, a restaurant and horse racing parlor in the former Tiki Bob’s space in Shockoe Bottom, closed in July.
Tijuana Flats, a fast-casual Tex-Mex chain at Willow Lawn
Fox & Hound, a sports bar at 11581 Robious Road in Chesterfield County
Brio Tuscan Grille at Stony Point Fashion Park closed in April.
Sugar Shack Donuts’ Parham location
O’Charley’s restaurant in the Shops at Stratford Hills off Forest Hill Avenue
Panera Bread’s Stony Point Fashion Park location
Panera Bread near Carytown
MOD Pizza’s Chesterfield Towne Center location
Billy Jack’s Shack in Shockoe Slip
Citizen restaurant at 1203 E. Main St. in downtown Richmond closed March 18 after a deal to sell the restaurant fell apart.
Metro Diner’s Short Pump location
Metro Diner’s Libbie Place location closed sometime in early March. The company did not respond to a request for a specific date.
Some restaurants have closed their doors as a cost-saving measure and hope to reopen when the pandemic is over:
- Red Cap Patisserie