clock menu more-arrow no yes
A woman walks her dog past a closed storefront
A woman walks her dog past the former location of Rae Duncan Interior Design on 2544 N. Clark St. on July 29.
Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Filed under:

Closed

From a preschool to restaurants to a bowling alley first opened in 1922, here’s a look at some of the businesses — and pieces of Chicago history — we lost this year to the pandemic.

2020 is a year marked with loss and heartbreak for millions around the globe due to the coronavirus pandemic, and in the United States, the losses have been devastating.

As it stands, the U.S.’s official death toll far outpaces its contemporaries like Canada and Australia, with 339,000 lives lost here as of December 30. And experts say the deaths may be undercounted.

Millions of people — 10.7 million, to be exact — are still without steady employment, according to the December report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nationwide, more than 163,000 businesses have closed, according to Yelp’s Local Economic Impact Report, and nearly 60% of those closures will be permanent.

In Chicago, that’s meant the loss of important neighborhood resources, delicious restaurants, favorite bars — some of the places that held pieces of our collective history. And for local business owners, it’s meant the loss of a sole source of income or a passion project.

Chicago’s closed businesses will be remembered for hosting the gatherings that defined our city. Some were in operation for decades, changing and growing with the city as time went on, providing a backdrop for our lives. Others were only opened within the last year or two.

This list serves as a snapshot of some of the storefronts we said goodbye to this year.

ALBANY PARK

Ay Ay Picante

4569 N. Elston Ave.

Opened in 2007

ANDERSONVILLE

Candyality

5225 N. Clark Street

Opened in 2015

Hamburger Mary’s

5400 N. Clark Street

Opened in 2006

Passerotto

5420 N. Clark Street

Opened in 2017

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS

Arlington Cake Box Bakery

1617 W. Campbell Street

Opened in 1949

Rack House Kitchen and Tavern

222 E. Algonquin Road

Opened in 2012

BELMONT TERRACE

Tinto y Tapas

7958 W. Belmont Ave.

Opened in 2019

BEVERLY

Jimmy Jamm Sweet Potato Pies

1844 W. 95th Street

Opened in 2008

BOYSTOWN

People sitting at a patio in front of a Little Jim’s, a restaurant.
Patrons sitting in front of Little Jims at 3501 N Halsted St. in Boystown in June 2020.
Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Little Jim’s Tavern

3501 N. Halsted St.

Opened in 1975

BUCKTOWN

Danny’s Tavern

1951 W. Dickens Ave.

Opened in 1986

Mable’s Table

1655 W. Cortland Street

Opened in 2016

Luella’s Gospel Bird

2009 N. Damen Ave.

Opened in 2018

Toast

2046 N. Damen Ave.

Opened in 1996

Gigi’s Kitchen

1954 W. Armitage Ave.

Opened in 2019

CHATHAM

Harold’s Chicken Shack #55

87th Street and the Dan Ryan Expressway

Opened in 1992

EDGEWATER

Income Tax

5959 N. Broadway

Opened in 2016

Wing Hoe

5356 N. Sheridan Road

Opened in 1971

Unicorn Cafe closed its doors to the Evanston community in September after nearly 30 years.
Sun-Times file photo

EVANSTON

Unicorn Cafe

1723 Sherman Ave.

Opened in 1990

La Macchina Cafe

1620 Orrington Ave.

Opened in 2013

Stained Glass & the Cellar

1735 Benson Ave.

Opened in 1999

Burger King

1740 Orrington Ave

Opened in 1976

FULTON MARKET

City Mouse at the Ace Hotel

311 N. Morgan Street

Opened in 2017

GLENVIEW

Mesa Urbana

3566 Milwaukee Ave.

Opened in 2016

GOLD COAST

Morton’s The Steakhouse

1050 N. State Street

Opened in 1978

The Grill on the Alley

909 Michigan Ave.

Walton Street Kitchen and Bar

100 E. Walton Street

Opened in 2018

Pippin’s Tavern

806 N. Rush Street

A white car sitting in front of a restaurant.
Ditka’s Chicago location closed in May, 2020.
Google Maps

Ditka’s

100 E. Chestnut Street

Opened in 1997

The Windsor

160 E. Huron Street

Opened in 2015

Southern Cut Barbecue

198 E. Delaware Place

Opened in 2017

HUMBOLDT PARK

Cafe Marie-Jeanne

1001 N. California Ave.

Opened in 2015

Dante’s Tavern

1938 W. Chicago Ave.

HYDE PARK

Vanille Patisserie

5229 S. Harper Ct.

Opened in 2017

IRVING PARK

Pitchfork Food and Saloon

2922 W. Irving Park Road

Opened in 2009

Finom Coffee

4200 W. Irving Park Road

Opened in 2018

LA GRANGE

La Buona Vita

15 Calendar Ave.

Opened in 2014

LAKEVIEW

Emerald City Coffee

3938 N. Sheridan Road

Opened in 1994

Devour 312

1450 W. Webster Ave.

Opened in 2017

Schoolyard Tavern

3258 N. Southport Ave.

Opened in 2001

A man walking his dog in front of a black building
Southport Lanes was just two years shy of turning 100 years old when they closed permanently in early December.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Southport Lanes

3325 N. Southport Ave.

Opened in 1922

Khyber Pass

3113 N. Halsted Street

Opened in 2015

Machu Picchu Restaurant

3856 N. Ashland Ave.

Opened in 2008

Stone Creek Coffee

939 W. Belmont Ave.

Opened in 2017

Anatolia Kitchen and Bakery

3151 N. Broadway Street

Opened in 2017

LINCOLN PARK

Devil Dawgs

2147 N. Sheffield Ave.

Opened in 2010

Mundano

1935 N. Lincoln Park W

Opened in 2020

Grand Trunk Road

1417 W. Fullerton Ave.

Opened in 2018

Rickshaw Republic

2312 N. Lincoln Ave.

Opened in 2012

Fahlstrom’s Fresh Fish Market

1258 W. Belmont Ave.

Opened in 2014

Simply It

5525 N. Broadway Ave.

Opened in 2006

Chopo Chicken

2460 N. Clark Street

Opened in 2017

LINCOLN SQUARE

A person walks past a storefront.
Taco in a Bag closed after 10 years on Oct. 30, 2020.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Taco in a Bag

4603 N. Lincoln Ave.

Opened in 2015

The Huettenbar

4721 N. Lincoln Ave.

Opened in 1985

Chubby Wieners

4652 N. Western Ave.

Opened in 2005

Vosges Haut Chocolat

951 W. Armitage

LITTLE ITALY/TRI TAYLOR

Francesca’s on Taylor

1400 W. Taylor Street

Davanti Enoteca

1359 W. Taylor Street

Opened 2010

LOGAN SQUARE

Fat Willy’s Rib Shack

2416 W. Schubert Ave.

Opened in 2000

Crown Liquors Taproom

2821 N. Milwaukee Ave.

THE LOOP

Caffe Baci

2 N. Lasalle Street

Opened in 1992

Pieriogi Heaven

169 N. Wells Street

Opened in 2010

U.B. Dogs

185 N. Franklin Street

Opened in 2010

Ronny’s Original Chicago Steakhouse

100 W. Randolph Street

Opened in 1963

Kroll’s South Loop

1736 S. Michigan Ave.

Opened in 2005

Jason’s Deli

195 N. Dearborn Street

Bridgeport Coffee Company

73 E. Jackson Blvd.

A sign in a window displaying a message that the restaurant is closed.
A closed sign in the window at Trattoria No.10 at 10 N. Dearborn St. in the Loop, in July 2020.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Trattoria No.10

10 N. Dearborn Street

Opened in 1990

MARQUETTE PARK

Quick Stop Food & Liquor

2424 W. 71st Street

MONTCLARE

Old Country Buffet

6560 W. Fullerton Ave.

NEAR NORTH SIDE

Blue Agave Tequila Bar & Restaurant

1050 N. State Street

Opened in 1992

NOBLE SQUARE

Habana Libre

1440 W. Chicago Ave.

Opened in 2007

NORRIDGE

Basilico Ristorante

4701 N. Cumberland Ave.

Opened in 1970

NORTH CENTER

Big Bricks Pizza & Barbecue

3832 N. Lincoln Ave.

Opened in 2012

Storefront of a pizza place
One of the few vegan pizzerias in the city, The Chicago House of ‘Za closed in May 2020.
Google

Chicago House of ‘Za

1939 W. Byron Street

Opened in 2019

Jeri’s Grill

4357 N. Western Ave.

Opened in 1963

Monty Gael’s Tavern & Grill

4356 N. Leavitt Street

Opened in 2013

NORWOOD PARK

Congas Restaurant

7021 W. Higgins Ave.

Opened in 2015

Mo Dailey’s Pub & Grill

6070 N. Northwest Hwy.

Opened in 2011

White Steeple Preschool

5849 N. Nina Ave.

Opened in 1977

OLD TOWN

Two Lights Seafood & Oyster

227 W. North Ave.

Opened in 2018

ORLAND PARK

Gatto’s Italian Restaurant & Bar

8801 W. 143rd Street

Opened in 2014

PILSEN

Step Down Cafe Coffee Shop

2023 South Racine Ave.

Opened in 2018

Taqueria Sabor y Sazón

2018 S. Blue Island Ave.

Opened in 2013

Fran’s Beef

2021 S. Blue Island Ave.

Opened in 1995

Furious Spoon

1316 W. 18th Street

Opened in 2017

PORTAGE PARK

El Gordo Restaurant

5746 W. Belmont Ave.

Opened in 1992

Family Bar

6430 W. Irving Park Road

Opened in 1998

RAVENSWOOD

A brick building with cars parked in front of it
The world’s first-ever Michelin-starred brewpub Band of Bohemia sits closed in Ravenswood.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Band of Bohemia

4710 N. Ravenswood Ave.

Opened in 2015

La Catedral Cafe & Restaurant

4544 N. Western Ave

Opened in 2015

Fountainhead

1970 W. Montrose Ave.

Opened in 2010

Erick’s Tacos

1967 W. Lawrence Ave.

Opened in 2006

Baobab BBQ

2301 W. Foster Ave.

Opened in 2018

Nami Sushi

1828 W. Montrose Ave.

Opened in 2015

RIVER NORTH

Artisan Cellar

222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza

Opened in 1998

Hutch American Cafe

416 W. Ontario Street

Opened in 2016

Beacon Tavern

405 N. Wabash Ave.

Opened in 2016

Barton G. The Restaurant

415 N. Dearborn Street

Opened in 2019

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse

431 N. Dearborn Street

Opened in 1993

Imperial Lamian at 6 West Hubbard St. has a sign in their window letting customers know that they are closed.
Imperial Lamian at 6 West Hubbard St. closed in May 2020.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Imperial Lamian

6 W. Hubbard Street

Opened in 2016

Lawry’s The Prime Rib

100 E. Ontario Street

Opened in 1974

Rainforest Cafe

605 N. Clark Street

Opened in 1997

Brunch

644 N. Orleans Street

Opened in 2010

Ironside Bar & Galley

546 N. Wells Street

Opened in 2016

Bottled Blonde

504 N. Wells Street

Opened in 2015

Zed451

739 N. Clark Street

Opened in 2008

Farmhouse Chicago

228 W. Chicago Ave.

Opened in 2011

Kiki’s Bistro

900 N. Franklin Ave.

Opened in 1990

25 Degrees

736 N. Clark Street

Opened in 2011

Pepper Canister

509 N. Wells Street

Opened in 2003

Monty’s Tap

600 W. Chicago Ave

Opened in 2018

Yolk closed this location at 747 N. Wells St. in June 2020.
Dom Najolia/Sun-Times

Yolk

747 N. Wells Street

Opened in 2010

Katana

339 N. Dearborn Street

Opened in 2017

Nacional 27

325 W. Huron Street

Opened in 2014

Elements

706 N. Wells Street

Opened in 1986

ROGERS PARK

Pub 626

1406 W. Morse Ave.

Opened in 2015

Twisted Tapas

1146 W. Pratt Blvd.

Opened in 2013

ROSEMONT

Gene & Georgetti

9421 W. Higgins Road

Opened in 2015

SOUTH LOOP

Wabash Tap

1233 S. Wabash Ave.

Opened in 2002

Giglio’s State Street Tavern

825 S. State Street

Opened in 2019

Happy Chinese Kitchen

80 E. Cermak Road

Opened in 2015

Bridgeport Coffee Company

150 W. Roosevelt Road

A post the former owners of Tantrum, one of the few Black-owned lounges in the city, uploaded saying goodbye to patrons when Tantrum closed its doors at the end of June.
@tantrumchicago/Instagram

Tantrum

1023 S. State Street

Opened in 2008

South Coast Sushi

1700 S. Michigan Ave.

Opened in 2007

The Scout

1301 S. Wabash Ave.

Opened in 2011

STREETERVILLE

Ramen Misoya

213 E. Ohio Street

Opened in 2015

Mity Nice Bar & Grill

835 N. Michigan Ave.

Opened in 1993

TINLEY PARK

Tin Fish

18201 S. Harlem Ave.

Opened in 2002

UKRANIAN VILLAGE

Bite Cafe

1039 N. Western Ave.

Opened in 1995

UPTOWN

3 Squares Diner

1020 W. Lawrence Ave.

Opened in 2018

Nick’s Uptown

4015 N. Sheridan Road

Opened in 2017

Uptown Arcade

4830 N. Broadway Ave.

Opened in 2016

WASHINGTON PARK

Miss Lee’s Good Food

203 E. Garfield Blvd.

Opened in 1998

WEST LOOP

An empty white building.
The beloved Michelin-starred restaurant Blackbird, at 619 W. Randolph St. in the West Loop, sits closed.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Blackbird

619 W. Randolph Street

Opened in 1997

Maude’s Liquor Bar

114 N. Green Street

Opened in 2011

La Sardine

111 N. Carpenter Street

Opened in 1998

Eden

1748 W. Lake Street

Opened in 2017

Bad Hunter

802 W. Randolph Street

Opened in 2016

WEST PULLMAN

RadioShack

11613 S. Halsted Street

WEST RIDGE

Mysore Woodlands

2548 W. Devon Ave.

WEST ROGERS PARK

Three Legged Tacos

7210 N. California Ave.

Opened in 2020

WEST TOWN

TWO

1132 W. Grand Ave.

Opened in 2012

Bar Biscay’s bright blue sign
Brian Rich/Sun-Times

Bar Biscay

1450 W. Chicago Ave.

Opened in 2018

WICKER PARK

Cafe Cancale

1576 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Opened in 2019

Northside Bar & Grill

1635 N. Damen Ave.

Opened in 1989

Clever Rabbit

2015 W. Division Street

Opened in 2017

Links Taproom

1559 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Opened in 2014

The Delta

1745 W. North Ave.

Opened in 2017

Fifolet Cajun & Cocktails

1942 W. Division Street

Opened in 2016

Furious Spoon

1571 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Opened in 2015

WILLOW SPRINGS

Greco’s

8550 Archer Ave.

Opened in 1990

WRIGLEYVILLE

Redmond’s Ale House

3358 N. Sheffield Ave

Guthrie’s Tavern

1300 W. Addison Street

Opened in 1986

Starbucks Reserve

3649 N. Clark Street

Opened in 2017

Columnists

Is it crazy to think COVID is the Earth’s way of protecting itself from humans?

Coronavirus

Omicron’s exponential rise followed by ‘exponential decay,’ but COVID deaths keep mounting

Well

Has COVID destroyed our attention spans?

View all stories in Coronavirus