2020 has been an impossibly difficult year for restaurants. Faced with immeasurable uncertainty, a constantly changing regulatory picture, and plummeting revenues, the city’s restaurants have fought to stay open every single day this year.
Unfortunately, some of our most beloved establishments weren’t able to weather the storm, and they will be sorely missed. In the second installment of our Year in Eater survey, we reached out to the city’s top chefs and food writers to find out which closures hit the hardest.
Andrea Meyer, chef/owner, Bisous Bisous Patisserie: There are really too many to mention. Every time I look at the list, my heart just sinks. Every one of these closings is the livelihood of so many people, it’s just heartbreaking. I think the closure of Salaryman was the one that resonated with me most, having survived cancer myself and having had to evaluate whether or not my business would survive it too. That one hit pretty close to home for me.
Brian Reinhart, food critic, Dallas Observer: Koryo Kalbi. Koreatown’s biggest institution. They had an enormous menu and all of it was good. Honorable mention to Mubrooka, the only Egyptian restaurant in Dallas County, and Tacos Mariachi, which is supposedly only temporarily closed while they find a new location, but I think about it and miss it every single week.
Suki Otsuki, chef, Meddlesome Moth: Highland Park Cafeteria and Crossroads Diner are two restaurant closures that really saddened me. Those were long-standing Dallas favorites that were so unique. To me, it really sank in that it isn’t just new restaurants that couldn’t survive. Everyone felt the hits this year.
Amy McCarthy, editor, Eater Dallas: I was really devastated to see Mercy Wine Bar in Addison close, and shed actual tears when I heard that Salaryman would have to shutter as its chef sought cancer treatment. Even though I didn’t drink there often, Iosing Black Swan Saloon was a brutal blow to Dallas’s cocktail scene.
J. Chastain, chef, the Charles: Salaryman, it’s always hard to see someone’s dream fall and Justin created something Dallas had never seen. We wish him our best as he goes through even tougher issues. He’s an amazing person.
Matt Balke, chef, Encina: Wolfgang Puck’s Five Sixty, and Salaryman. That one’s more heartbreaking than the other and we are all praying for Justin to have a speedy recovery.
Teresa Gubbins, senior editor, CultureMap: It’s too hard to single out just one. It’s depressing to drive through restaurant zones like Greenville Avenue and Deep Ellum and see so many spaces gone dark.