2020’s Most Heartbreaking Dallas Restaurant Closures

2020 was an incredibly difficult year for restaurants. In the face of immeasurable uncertainty, an ever-changing regulatory picture, and falling revenues, the city’s restaurants have struggled to stay open every day this year.

Unfortunately, some of our most popular facilities couldn’t weather the storm and are sorely missed. In the second installment of our Year of the Eating survey, we reached out to the best chefs and food writers in town to find out which closings have been hardest hit.

Andrea Meyer, cook / owner, Bisous Bisous Patisserie: There are really too many to mention. Every time I look at the list my heart sinks. Each of these closings is so many people’s livelihoods that it’s just heartbreaking. I think the Salaryman shutdown impressed me the most as I survived cancer myself and had to judge whether or not my company would survive it too. This one met me pretty close to home.

Brian Reinhart, food critic, Dallas Observer: Koryo Kalbi. Koreatown’s largest institution. They had a huge menu and everything was good. Honorable mention to Mubrooka, the only Egyptian restaurant in Dallas County, and Tacos Mariachi which is said to be only temporarily closed while they find a new place, but I think about it and miss it every week.

Suki Otsuki, cook, Meddlesome Moth: Highland Park Cafeteria and Crossroads Diner are two restaurant closings that made me really sad. These were long-time Dallas favorites that were so unique. For me, it’s really gone down that it’s not just new restaurants that can’t survive. Everyone felt the hits that year.

RIP, Highland Park cafeteria eater

Amy McCarthy, editor, Eater Dallas: I was really devastated when I saw the Mercy Wine Bar in Addison nearby, and shed tears when I heard Salaryman had to close when his chef sought cancer treatment. While I didn’t drink there often, Iosing Black Swan Saloon was a brutal blow to Dallas’ cocktail scene.

J. Chastain, Chef, The Charles: Salaryman, it’s always hard to see someone’s dream come true, and Justin created something that Dallas has never seen before. We wish him all the best as he has even more difficult problems. He is an amazing person.

Matt Balke, chef, Encina: Wolfgang Pucks Five Sixty and Salaryman. This is more heartbreaking than the other and we all pray for Justin that he will recover quickly.

Teresa Gubbins, Senior Editor, CultureMap: It’s too hard to figure out just one. It’s depressing to drive through restaurant zones like Greenville Avenue and Deep Ellum and see so many rooms dark.

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