Metro Detroit Restaurants That Closed Permanently During the Coronavirus Crisis
Countless restaurants and bars in southeast Michigan temporarily closed their doors in March as novel coronavirus cut through the region, closing dining rooms and cutting into profits. Some are just now beginning to reopen for takeout and delivery, or pivoting to become micro-markets selling groceries. Restaurants and bars were permitted to reopen for dine-in service on Monday, June 8. However, a fall surge has forced the health department to impose a new round of indoor dining closures. That three-week partial shutdown began on Wednesday, November 18.
The financial pressures of the novel coronavirus coupled with the uncertainty of reopening — not to mention the challenges already facing local businesses prior to the pandemic — are forcing some owners to make the tough decisions. Many restaurants and bars will not return.
Below are the metro Detroit and greater southeast Michigan restaurants that have closed locations permanently following the novel coronavirus crisis. Know of a restaurant, bar, coffee shop, or bakery that should be added to this list? Send the details to [email protected]
The Detroit restaurants that shut their doors for good earlier this year, before COVID-19 was a factor, are here.
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — After much excitement over its resurrection last winter, pizza and kids’ entertainment restaurant Major Magic’s has once again closed. “It is with great regret to inform you that we are shutting down our operations effective immediately,” the owners write in a Tuesday, November 17 Facebook post. “We gave Major Magic a new heart but sadly it has stopped.” The operators are planning to sell all the assets including gables, kitchen, equipment, and, yes, the animatronic characters, too. Call 586-823-2115 if you’re interested in buying something. Major Magic’s is also hosting an open house from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 21 and Sunday, November 22.
GRANDMONT-ROSEDALE — After many years of fighting to maintain a third-place, community cafe in Grandmont-Rosedale, Town Hall Caffé (formerly Always Brewing Detroit), permanently closed at the end of October. After failing to reach an agreement with her landlord that would allow her to temporarily close over the holiday season, owner Lindsey Marr made the difficult decision to close the business. Marr writes in a message on Instagram that while the pandemic was a factor, her mother’s late-stage cancer diagnoses also made it difficult for her to continue operating the shop.
YPSILANTI — Vegan sweets brand Sugarbeet Bakery closed for business on Saturday, October 31, citing financial issues stemming from the ongoing pandemic.
WARRENDALE — The Ford Road location of Tijuana’s Mexican Kitchen closed permanently after nearly 10 years, citing lost sales, increased costs, staff shortages, and other COVID-19 related business impacts in a post to Facebook. the restaurant owners plan to reopen the Lincoln Park location on Monday, November 2.
LAKE ORION — In an emailed announcement to recipients of its mailing list, metro Detroit restaurant group Kruse & Muer confirmed that it would permanently close the Kruse & Muer Roadhouse in Lake Orion on Friday, October 30. The restaurant group cited road construction around the business and the COVID-19 crisis as contributing factors in the decision to close and sell the property to a “longtime former team member” Darrel Sanrope. He and his wife Kathy Sanrope plan to relocate their Port Huron restaurant to the Lake Orion space.
DOWNTOWN — Wolfgang Puck has left the building metaphorically at the MGM Grand Detroit. The well-known restaurateur permanently closed Wolfgang Puck Steak during the pandemic.
CASS CORRIDOR — Brujo Tacos and Tapas at the Detroit Shipping Company has closed permanently, making way for a halal food stall. The non-traditional taco shop closed at the end of September as chef and owner Petro Drakopoulos left for new projects as head of food and beverage at the Atheneum Hotel Detroit.
FARMINGTON — Boozy ice cream bar mini chain Browndog Barlor is closing its Farmington location permanently due to financial strains from the novel coronavirus pandemic. “Although this was a difficult decision, we feel that this is a necessary step to allow us to consolidate resources and keep the Browndog brand financially viable during these trying times,” the company wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday, October 6. Browndog plans to keep its Northville location open as well as its production facility in Oak Park, which supplies retail stores around the area.
HAMTRAMCK — Although its final dinner technically happened back in March, Revolver’s co-founder Peter Dalinowski made the pop-up restaurant’s closing official on Wednesday, October 1, confirming to the Detroit Free Press that the space was permanently closed.
ANN ARBOR — Poke and acai bowl shop Pocai has permanently closed and traded places with Sidebiscuit, a chicken wing and biscuit pop-up run by chef Jordan Balduf. It’s expected to open in the space soon.
CORKTOWN — Detroit Institute of Bagels is closed permanently, though there’s still a smidgen of hope that it could return under new ownership. The restaurant building is listed for $1.5 million through O’Connor Real Estate.
CORE CITY — The partners behind Takoi and Magnet dissolved their restaurant group in August and announced the permanent closure of the less-than-a-year young Core City restaurant. Magnet closed to “recalibrate and refocus” in July. Takoi is now under the sole ownership of chef Brad Greenhill.
ANN ARBOR — The Lunch Room Diner and Canteen permanently closed in Kerrytown, though Detroit Street Filling Station and the Lunch Room Bakery remain open.
ANN ARBOR — Satchel’s BBQ has permanently closed its downtown Ann Arbor location due in part to the pandemic, MLive reports. The restaurant’s owner stated in an email to customers on Friday, August 7 that it was important to close the location and focus resources on keeping the better-performing, original restaurant on Washtenaw Avenue afloat.
NEW CENTER — Nearly three years after setting down roots in the former Cafe Con Leche space on West Grand Boulevard, Avalon Cafe & Biscuit bar is closing down permanently. Avalon International Breads confirmed the closing in a post to social media on Wednesday, August 5. “We are sad to leave New Center, but very encouraged by the community response to the energy and love we’ve put into Willis since reopening. We’ve been able to combine the best of both worlds, and it’s been a great reminder that we are all in this together,” the company writes. “Stop by Willis to see familiar (masked) faces from Willis and the Biscuit Bar alike. Our doors and hearts are open!”
CASS CORRIDOR — Alley Taco appears to have closed on Willis Street. The restaurant had been posted for sale — full business included — pre-pandemic, and is now listed as under contract by O’Connor Real Estate. That suggests it could potentially reopen in the future under new management. As of now, the restaurant’s social media accounts haven’t been updated since early May and its phone is disconnected. Third-party delivery services and Yelp list the location as closed.
WATERFORD TOWNSHIP — A reader reports that after many years in the area, Carrie Lee’s Lake Garden, a Chinese restaurant, has closed permanently. The Lake Orion location remains open for service.
BERKLEY — Bakeshop Holy Cannoli’s did not reopen following an extended pandemic closure. On July 1, the company announced on Facebook that the Berkley location would be closing permanently in order to “turn our resources” to the Rochester shop.
ROYAL OAK — Nello’s Eatery, a diner located along Woodward Avenue has not reopened since the stay-at-home order. In July, customers on Yelp and Google report that it is permanently closed.
CANTON — An Eater tipster points out that Vinnie’s Italian Sub Shop in Canton has closed permanently. The sub shop’s assets were listed for auction in July. It’s possible that novel coronavirus didn’t factor into the decision. The shop temporarily closed in 2019, “due to an accident.” The Romulus location is still open for takeout.
YPSILANTI — After 10 years in Ypsilanti, Ollie Food & Spirits closed permanently. The owners cited the current economic challenges of the pandemic as a major factor in the decision to shut down. The business will be placed up for sale, according to an Instagram post from Saturday, July 11. Sister bakery Cream & Crumb is also closing down to make way for a new project, a record shop-cocktail spot called Wax Bar.
ROYAL OAK — Golden Basket, a diner located along Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak, appears to have shuttered. Google lists the location as permanently closed and the phone number is disconnected.
WEST VILLAGE — Short-lived neighborhood cocktail spot Destination 1905 announced on Tuesday, June 9 that it’s temporary March closure due to novel coronavirus had become a permanent closure. “For our bar to be financially sound it needs to be operating at full capacity nearly always, which can be challenging enough even in the best of times,” the bar’s owners wrote in a post to Instagram. “We don’t see that as a possibility any time soon, and don’t have ability to wait for those days to return.”
ANN ARBOR — Mikette, the French-Mediterranean restaurant from the group behind Insalita and Mani Osteria, is permanently closed after five years in Ann Arbor. Popular items like Mikette’s oysters and Le Mec burger will be served at its sibling restaurants, per a Facebook post from Tuesday, June 23.
ROYAL OAK — Detroit Taco Company has closed its original location in Royal Oak, citing issues negotiating the terms of its lease. The restaurant chain is continuing to operate in Troy with plans for locations in Shelby Township and Detroit, according to a Facebook post from Thursday, June 11.
YPSILANTI — Lauded Mexican restaurant Dolores in Ypsilanti is closed for now and possibly for good. The restaurant shared the announcement on Friday, June 5, to followers that it would not be feasible to continue operating under the current state requirements. “This sucks. We love our crew. We love our regulars. We love our neighborhood. We love our tacos and cocktails,” the owners wrote in their statement to followers on Instagram. There is some hope that the business could return in the fall in “some shape and form.”
BIRMINGHAM — The Townsend Bakery inside the Townsend Hotel has permanently closed due to financial issues stemming from the pandemic. The bakery operated for 27 years at the site and closed in March, according to WDIV.
ANN ARBOR — Craft beer store Blue Front is closing permanently on Saturday, June 27. The store’s inventory is currently marked down between 20 percent and 50 percent off.
ANN ARBOR — Espresso Royale has permanently closed all of its locations in Ann Arbor, East Lansing, and Madison, according to MLive. The company’s management initially believed the closure would be temporary due to the pandemic, but the financial situation became insurmountable.
LIVONIA — The Livonia location of the Romano’s Macaroni Grill chain appears to have closed permanently, Hometown Life reports. The company website doesn’t currently list any locations in Michigan.
STERLING HEIGHTS — Andiamo’s Sterling Heights outpost is permanently closed as of Sunday, June 14. The restaurant was rumored to be on the way out in February when plans for a new Portillo’s restaurant — Michigan’s first location — were proposed at the address. The site plan for the Portillo’s restaurant has been approved by the city, although the Chicago restaurant chain has yet to confirm the expansion.
ANN ARBOR — Snap Custom Pizza is permanently closed due to COVID-19, according to Crain’s.
METRO DETROIT — Two Panera Bread restaurants located in Westland and Plymouth have permanently closed. A Pizza Hut in Westland also closed.
SOUTH LYON — Closed since the end of March, A Good Day Cafe in South Lyon has permanently closed due in part to the challenges of the pandemic. The restaurant originally opened in 2017.
AVENUE OF FASHION — Table No. 2, a fine-dining restaurant on Livernois Avenue, was barely scraping by on carryout during the pandemic after a year spent on the edge due to construction disruptions. Now, the restaurant has been pushed from its building, the Detroit Free Press reports. Owner Omar Mitchell tells the Free Press, the landlord has sold the building and given the restaurant notice to vacate. Mitchell is now crowdfunding $30,000 to help reopen in a larger, turnkey space.
ANN ARBOR — The owners of Logan Restaurant announced to Facebook on Monday, June 8 that it will close permanently after 16 years in downtown Ann Arbor. The restuarant will briefly transition into a wine store in order to sell the remainder of its inventory and glassware.
ANN ARBOR — LGBTQ-friendly Aut Bar is closing permanently after 25 years of business, MLive reports. The owner attributed the closure to declining business and costs of building improvements, coupled with the financial challenges of novel coronavirus.
METRO DETROIT — Sanders Candy has closed four metro Detroit stores in Grosse Pointe, Livonia, Novi, and St. Clair Shores, according to Crain’s. That leaves only two remaining company-owned brick and mortar shops for Sanders, which will focused delivery of its confections. Two other licensed shops in Wyandotte and on Mackinac Island will not be impacted.
DEARBORN HEIGHTS — Closed since March 16, Marovski’s Family Restaurant in Dearborn Heights announced on Tuesday, June 2, that it is closing permanently after 50 years of business. “A worldwide pandemic was the only thing that could separate our tightly knit family; if you were here, you were definitely family,” the owners write in a statement to Facebook.
BRUSH PARK — New Order Coffee announced on Monday, June 1 that it will close its original location in Detroit’s Brush Park neighborhood. “Due to the current climate, we’ve made the difficult decision to permanently close the doors at our location in Midtown, Detroit,” the company writes in a statement to Facebook. “This wasn’t an easy decision to make but we know it’s the best path to take for our future. Royal Oak (Woodward Corners) will continue to be our home base for now and we look forward to continuing to grow once this pandemic subsides. Thank you for supporting us.” New Order opened its doors at the Detroit location in July of 2017. (Update, 9:30 p.m., June 1) New Order Coffee has updated its announcement to clarify that the decision was made based on economic hardship due to the the novel coronavirus pandemic:
Regardless of perception, we have always struggled with sales volumes here and the current pandemic tipped things over the edge for us. This was an extraordinarily difficult decision to make, but we also felt that it was the only way forward.It would be wrong to address this and not speak to the events transpiring in the world today. They are inextricably linked to how this already difficult announcement was read by many. Like you, our hearts break for George Floyd and his family. We are simply a small business, trying to do our best to navigate through tragic times.
The company writes that it is “deeply sorry for any pain we caused with our announcement.”
ANN ARBOR — Arbor Brewing Company, established in downtown Ann Arbor in 1995, plans to close its original location permanently on Sunday, June 7. “The businesses realities of operating in this location have changed over the years,” the company’s owners write in a statement posted to the website on May 26. “They had grown increasingly challenging even pre-COVID-19, and we expect there will be even more challenges on the other side of the shutdown.” The Ypsilanti and Plymouth locations will not be impacted and employees will have the opportunity to transfer to other jobs within the company. The owners say they are “evaluating multiple locations now and hope to have more news on that soon” on where the Ann Arbor taproom may land next.
ROYAL OAK — Hopcat is permanently closing its Royal Oak location after the company was unable to strike an agreement with the building landlord. The company temporarily closed all of its locations in March due to financial pressures from novel coronavirus, but had intended on returning to service at a regular date. Hopcat founder Mark Sellers told Eater in a statement that the restaurant chain intends to eventually reopen elsewhere in Royal Oak.
MILFORD — Lebanese restaurant Blue Grill has permanently closed after 8 years of business. In a May 22 post to Facebook, the restaurant cited the owner Dimitri Mansour’s passing in 2019 as a blow to the business that was compounded by the pandemic. “In many ways the restaurant business will never be the same as it was before March, 2020,” the Mansour family writes. “We did not know when we shut down as part of the shelter in place order that the doors of Blue Grill would never open again. Each day with expenses piling up and no revenue to meet these demands, we felt it. Hoping and strategizing to come up with ways that may allow us to rebuild and thrive, we just don’t see a way.” The restaurant will continue selling its dressings and marinades under the name Blue Grill Foods.
CANTON — A tipster with knowledge of the business tells Eater that J.B’s Smokehouse in Canton is closed permanently. The barbecue restaurant and live music venue announced a temporary closure in April, but privately has informed staff and frequent customers that it will not be reopening.
ROYAL OAK — After 13 years of business, Town Tavern in Royal Oak will close permanently, the Daily Tribune reports. Owner Bill Roberts addressed the closure in an April 17 memo to the city requesting it return the restaurants $1,000 application liquor license fee for 2020 through 2021, since the business barely had the opportunity to use it before novel coronavirus ravaged the health of Michiganders and and the economy.
ANN ARBOR — Wilma’s, a restaurant that underwent a name change last year, announced on April 22 that it would close permanently. The business, operated by SavCo Hospitality, has lived under several different names at that address since 2011. The restaurant management writes in a post to Instagram: “Due to… well… you know what… we have made the very difficult decision to not reopen this location as a response to the times and feasibility of surviving reopening with all of the challenges we are facing. Exorbitant rent. Social distancing restrictions placed on restaurants. Seating restrictions. Massive debt growing daily.”
• How Coronavirus Is Impacting the Detroit Food and Beverage Industry [ED]
• All Closings Coverage [ED]
• All Coronavirus Coverage [E]
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