This week’s restaurant closings include Beijing on Penn’s campus and Charlie Brown’s in N.J.
Coronavirus is only one factor. The once-popular steakhouse chain is down to two locations in New Jersey.
For all the pain that the pandemic has inflicted on the restaurant business, I’m finding the number of closings running on par with the March-to-September period last year. But as the weather cools and outdoor dining becomes less of an option, coupled with aversions to reduced-capacity indoor dining, the shutterings very well may escalate. Restaurateurs will be taking harder looks after their typically busy December is behind them and the bleakness of January is ahead.
Some recent closings:
Penn campus favorite Beijing Restaurant has wrapped a 32-year run at 3714 Spruce St. Owner Alex Yuen told the Daily Pennsylvanian that he had been planning to close for about two years as he and his wife had planned to move to the West Coast to be closer to his children and grandchildren.
No more steak and salad bar at Charlie Brown’s Fresh Grill in Woodbury and near Mount Holly, which filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection last month, as did seven other locations. Only the locations in New Jersey’s Scotch Plains and Edison are open. Popularly known as Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse at its 1966 founding in Warren, N.J., the family friendly chain had been on the ropes before; it reorganized under Chapter 11 in 2000 when it had 39 locations.
Devil’s Pocket Food & Spirits at Catharine Street and Grays Ferry Avenue wrapped its six-year run last week. “Cause of death: the one-size-fits-all approach the city took with bars and restaurants,” said owner Marcus Versace.