2019 is almost over — thankfully — which means that it’s time to look back at the Year in Eater. Over the past 12 months, so many exciting new places to dine have arrived, but that constant growth means that sometimes, beloved restaurants have to close to make way for new eats.
This year brought the closure of multiple Dallas dining icons, including the Grape and Abacus, along with promising upstarts that just didn’t get off the ground. Take a look back at the year’s 5 saddest restaurant closures, and pour one out for these dearly-departed eateries.
After 47 years on Greenville Avenue, French bistro the Grape took a final bow in October. Helmed by Dallas chef Brian Luscher since 2007, the restaurant’s departure was widely mourned by fans of its famed burger and cream of mushroom soup. Since then, Luscher has accepted a gig at 33 Restaurant Group, the company behind Cadillac Pizza Pub and Taverna Rossa, and we’re hopeful that some Grape classics will eventually make a comeback.
Mudhen Meat & Greens
A favorite of vegetarians and healthy eaters everywhere, Mudhen Meat & Greens departed its location at the Dallas Farmers Market in November. When it shuttered, owner Shannon Wynne said that “not enough people really cared” about the restaurant’s detail-oriented approach, which involved only cooking meats at less than 300 degrees to “avoid carcinogens,” to vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free eats.
Melios Bros. Char Bar
Back in September, Lower Greenville said goodbye to a 49-year-old icon in Melios Bros. Char Bar. Originally opened in 1970, the burger destination had seen a ton of change in the neighborhood throughout its history, and those juicy, char-broiled burgers inspired devoted fans across generations.
Also shuttering in November, the Frisco outpost of this Michelin-recommended D.C. restaurant lasted little more than a year. Fortunately, the restaurant is seeking a new location in Dallas proper, which means that Zaytinya could be making a comeback in 2020.
Even though this restaurant hadn’t represented the best in Dallas cuisine for years, the city still lost a dining icon when Abacus closed its doors back in June. The brainchild of chef Kent Rathbun, who left the restaurant after nearly 18 years in 2016, then ended up in a protracted legal battle with his business partners in Abacus over the right to use his own name in any new business ventures. Its demise was messy, but there’s really no way to quantify Abacus’s influence on Dallas’s restaurants.