PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — 2020 has come to an end and in a year that saw a lot of pain, stress and anxiety due to its uncertainty, one thing was for sure, the pandemic proved to be too much for several businesses in the Philadelphia area.
The closures began soon after strict restrictions went into place to help curb the spread of COVID-19 after cases surged quickly throughout the region.
Mad River Bar and Grille — Manayunk
In May, many locals were stunned to hear that Mad River Bar and Grille, which was a mainstay on Main Street in Manayunk for just over a decade, was closing for good due to the pandemic.
Jamie Powell, the general manager, wrote about its closure on Facebook saying, “Welp. With a heavy heart, it’s time to announce the ol’ Riv won’t make it thru this mess (I truly hope this doesn’t start a string of these announcements).”
After the news broke, flowers were placed on the front door of the shuttered business.
Lalo — Old City
In July, the Filipino restaurant announced on Instagram that it would be closing for good.
In the post, its owners said “The long-lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have forced us to close and this decision was not made lightly. We want to express heartfelt gratitude for all the support that you’ve shown us during our short time in Old City. We are fortunate to have had LALO be a space where we were able to share our culture, our Filipinx food to a wider audience. This chapter may have concluded, but our story is far from over.”
The Bards Irish Bar — Center City
Also in July, the pandemic played a role in the closure of The Bards Irish Bar. After 26 years in business, the owners decided not to renew a lease at their Walnut Street location.
They say the health and safety of customers and staff are their main concerns and that the restrictions would have made it impossible for them to adhere to social distancing rules without taking substantial losses.
CheU Noodle Bar — Washington Square West
After “slinging noods” for almost eight years, the popular CHeU Noodle Bar, best known for its ramen, closed the doors of its location in Washington Square for good. In an Instagram post in October, the restaurant announced it was yet another casualty due to restrictions put in place due to the global pandemic.
“The 2020 struggle is real and it’s taking us with it,” the post read.
Buddakan and The Continental — Atlantic City, New Jersey
Also in October, Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr told The Associated Press that both Buddakan and The Continental in Atlantic City, New Jersey, which had been closed since mid-March, will not reopen.
Both were located inside the former Playground Pier, which Caesars Entertainment recently purchased from developer Bart Blatstein. The pier has had extremely low levels of foot traffic and a majority of its stores have been empty for more than a year.
City Tavern — Old City
In November, a colonial-themed restaurant on the site of a 1773 tavern in Philadelphia’s Old City closed for good. This history-packed tavern opened in 1976 to coincide with the bicentennial after a restoration based on period images, written accounts and insurance surveys, the restaurant’s site said.
The site also says that the tavern was “the unofficial meeting place” of delegates to the First Continental Congress at nearby Carpenters’ Hall. It also was the site of a farewell dinner in 1787 after the signing of the Constitution and a 1789 banquet for George Washington ahead of his inauguration.
Grey Lodge Pub — Northeast Philadelphia
Later that month, the owners of the popular Grey Lodge Pub in Northeast Philadelphia announced they were closing for good.
The owners cited the COVID restrictions at the time as the “final blow” for the pub.
In a Facebook post, Mike Scotese thanked his guests and his staff for all of the great years.
The pub in Mayfair is one of Philadelphia’s oldest craft beer bars.
Esquire Magazine named it one of the “Top 50 bars” in America.
Goose Island Brewhouse — Fishtown
In December, the Goose Island Brewhouse closed its doors for good.
This Chicago-based brewery located in Fishtown shared that the global health crisis and the “significant impact” COVID-19 has had on business was the reason for their permanent closure.
In a post on Instagram, the company expressed its gratitude for the employees and patrons and called Philadelphia its “second home.”
Sonic Drive-In — Port Richmond
Just before the end of 2020, a number of Sonic Drive-In restaurants closed their doors for good, according to, Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN.
The closure included the location at 2201 E. Butler St. in Port Richmond.
Nine other locations are also closing inlcuding those in Norristown, Royersford, Willow Grove, Reading and Lancaster.