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All the Philly Restaurants That Closed in 2019

The year’s notable restaurant, bar, bakery, and cafe closures in Philadelphia

pizza with mozzarella and basil
Brigantessa on East Passyunk Avenue will close at the end of the year.
Brigantessa

From bankruptcies to evictions or retirements, this page is where Eater Philly keeps track of every notable restaurant closure in the city for 2019 (and probably a few bar and cafe shutters, too). Seen any papered-over windows or abandoned patios in your neighborhood? Tell us about it. Feeling nostalgic about last year’s restaurant closings? Those are here.

The last couple of months saw longer lists of restaurant closings, but December was light:

  • After five years on East Passyunk Avenue, Brigantessa, noted on the list of Philly’s essential Italian restaurants, is closing at the end of the month. The owners’ Le Virtu is not affected — if you’re still holding on to a Brigantessa gift card after December 31, you can use it at Le Virtu.
  • Cinemug, the hybrid cafe and video store on South Broad, closed its doors for good.
  • As noted below, East Passyunk Avenue’s long-running Tre Scalini is closing at the end of the month; New Year’s Eve will be the final service.
counter seating at a restaurant with white counter and light wood chairs
Japanese barbecue restaurant Bincho is closed.
Bincho [official photo]

November 26

  • Penn is down one burger option, with the Daily Pennsylvanian reporting that Bobby Flay’s Bobby’s Burger Palace is closed. It opened at 3925 Walnut in 2010.
  • Dmitri’s, the snug Greek spot at Third and Catharine that helped pioneer Philly’s BYOB scene, is closed after almost three decades. The Northern Liberties location is also currently closed, but that one is expected to reopen following renovations.
  • All locations of Little Baby’s have gone to the great ice cream shop in the sky. The final day is November 27.
  • Japanese barbecue restaurant Bincho didn’t last too long on South Street, reports the Inquirer.
  • Joe Coffee, the New York-based coffee shop with locations on Rittenhouse Square and in University City, is closing both at the end of the year, reports Billy Penn.
  • The Gayborhood’s Maison 208 — the bi-level restaurant with a retractable roof originally opened with Top Chef alum Sylva Senat at the helm — is shuttered, Philly Mag reports.
  • Seafood spot Nauti Mermaid Crab House in Old City has swum away, reports Inquirer.com.
bright restaurant with stools around a bar
The King of Prussia location of Mistral is closed.
Mistral [official photo]

October 29

bright restaurant interior with bar and cafe tables
Village, formerly Plenty Cafe, is closed.
Village [official photo]

September 30

  • Coffee shop/brunch spot Little Spoon Cafe on the corner of 15th and South streets is shutting its doors after five years. The final day is October 14. (Before Little Spoon the address was the weird/cool Baja Room, a Mexican restaurant cluttered with random objects that always seemed to have Ghostbusters on.)
  • The Spring Garden Street location of taco shop Heffe is closed, Inquirer.com reports. Chef Peter McAndrews of Paesano’s had originally opened Heffe. He just closed his Italian Market BYOB Monsu. But he’s already on to the next, with plans to re-open Modo Mio in a new location. The Heffe in Fishtown is still open.
  • The chicken cutlets Cotoletta is known for are no longer available in Bala Cynwyd: The original location is now closed. The newer Cotoletta, at 23rd and Pine in Fitler Square, is open.
  • In restaurant-adjacent news, the October 3 Night Market in Point Breeze will, sadly, be the last, as the nonprofit Food Trust doesn’t have the money to continue organizing them.

August 29

  • Chef Michael O’Halloran’s new French BYOB, Bistro La Bete, shut its doors after only a few months in South Philly.
  • Mama’s Vegetarian, the kosher and vegetarian (and mostly vegan) falafel shop in Rittenhouse, is currently — and indefinitely — closed due to a lack of power in the building stemming from problems that occurred during renovations on the second floor.
  • Royal Tavern, the popular bar in Bella Vista, is closed for now. It needs major renovations, the owners say — they hope to reopen late October.
  • The last day for French restaurant Townsend on East Passyunk Avenue is September 1; it will reopen at 2121 Walnut Street on September 15.
  • Cajun-Creole restaurant Acadia in Bella Vista is shuttered. Acadia, which opened early 2018, was modeled after eateries in New Orleans.
  • After almost 30 years, Afghan restaurant Kabul in Old City is closed, Inquirer.com reports.
  • New Harmony, Chinatown’s last kosher and vegetarian restaurant, closes August 31 after 23 years. Owner Ming Chu is retiring.
  • Wahlburgers, the burger chain from Mark, Donnie, and Paul Wahlberg, closed its Philly location. It was in the Piazza in Northern Liberties.
  • Cooperage Wine and Whiskey Bar in the Curtis Center on Washington Square shut its doors. An Eater tipster says it was an abrupt and unexpected closure for the staff.
  • N.A. Poe shuttered his Poe’s Sandwich Joint in Fishtown, citing financial reasons.
  • The Mexico-themed Johnny Manana’s, which closed in East Falls in 2016 after almost 15 years before reopening in Callowhill early this year, is done.
  • Fine Palate, the snug, bi-level spot with an eclectic menu on 15th Street, is closed.
  • Oh! Shea’s Pub in Rittenhouse is closed after 29 years, Inquirer.com reports, with Fergus Carey and Jim McNamara of Fergie’s taking over the space for a new, to-be-named bar.
  • Belgian Cafe in Fairmount stops serving September 8. Fergus Carey is taking over that one too, with Shane Dodd and Dave Dollinger, Inquirer.com reports, to turn it into a bar/restaurant called the Ambassador (but not for a while).
  • Looking ahead, the Trolley Car Diner in Mt. Airy will shut its doors October 15 after almost 20 years. Owner Ken Weinstein says the diner couldn’t survive an increase in competition in the area: “[O]ur NW Philly neighborhood has blossomed and grown. There are now many more places to eat, drink and gather today. Many of these establishments are within a walk or short drive of the Diner. These new dining destinations have slowly eaten into our customer base. With significantly more options, the Diner’s sales have steadily declined.” Trolley Car Cafe in East Falls is still open, and honoring Trolley Car Diner gift cards.
colorful plates with breaded meat on one and a salad on another
Bistro La Bete didn’t last long.
Bistro La Bete [official photo]

July 26

  • The tiki bar upstairs at the Franklin Bar in Rittenhouse (a.k.a. Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.) has closed to make way for Encima, a mezcal bar with Mexican food from the same owners.
  • Honest Tom’s, the taco shop at 44th and Spruce in West Philly that went vegan a year ago, will close at the end of July. Look for a new Mexican restaurant from a few of Honest Tom’s employees to take its place in August.
  • After 38 years, the Irish Pub at 1123 Walnut Street has shut its doors (the owners’ other Irish Pub, on 20th and Walnut, is not affected). Tod Wentz of Oloroso, the Spanish restaurant next door, is buying Irish Pub’s building, Philly.com reports, with plans to keep it as a bar for now.
  • Chocolate shop Chocodiem has closed its outpost in the Bourse food hall in Old City. It still has shops in Easton, Pennsylvania, and Clinton, New Jersey.
  • SuGa in Rittenhouse, from longtime Philly restaurateur Susanna Foo and her son Gabriel, is closed for the summer, Philly.com reports. The restaurant says it will reopen September 1.
  • Humpty Dumplings’ Glenside eatery and its food truck are still up and running, but the Queen Village location is done.
  • Looking ahead, Italian Market BYOB Monsu is closing after almost nine years. But there’s still time to go — chef-owner Peter McAndrews isn’t shutting the doors until September 29.
Amis Trattoria in Washington Square West is closed.
Amis [official photo]

June 25

  • Amis Trattoria, the Italian restaurant in Washington Square West chef Marc Vetri opened in 2010 and sold to Urban Outfitters five years later, served its last cacio e pepe on June 23, two months ahead of schedule.
  • Mike Solomonov and Steve Cook’s The Rooster, the charitable restaurant from the Federal Donuts team that donated all of its profits, wasn’t making enough money to sustain itself and closed earlier this month.
  • In Old City, Latin-Asian fusion restaurant Ardiente is closed at least for the summer. The owner tells Eater he needs to focus on lawsuits Ardiente filed against its landlord and “various other third parties,” and hopes to reopen later this year.
  • University City’s CoZara, from the chef-owner of Zama in Rittenhouse, closed after five years. Hiroyuki Tanaka told Philly.com he was having trouble staffing the Japanese restaurant.
  • Peruvian restaurant Chalaco’s in Northern Liberties (in what had been Bar Ferdinand) is no longer serving ceviche and pisco.
  • Adobe Cafe, the casual bar and restaurant serving Tex-Mex fare on East Passyunk Avenue, is closed, with the building listed for sale. A note on Adobe Cafe’s Facebook page indicates it’s moving to a new location.
  • Last call: The final day for Russet, the elegant farm-to-table BYOB in Rittenhouse from Andrew and Kristin Wood, is Sunday, June 30.
Russet at 1521 Spruce Street will close at the end of June 2019.
Russet [official photo]

May 31

  • Lynn Rinaldi is closing upscale Italian eatery Paradiso, which she opened on East Passyunk Avenue in 2004 before the street was a restaurant destination. The final day is June 1.
  • Rinaldi of Paradiso (above) recently closed sushi spot Izumi, also on East Passyunk.
  • June 2 is last call for Will BYOB, Chris Kearse’s highly praised eatery on East Passyunk Avenue. Kearse is shutting the doors to focus on his new project: Look for the chef to reappear late August with Forsythia, a French restaurant in Old City, at 233 Chestnut Street, in what was Capofitto.
  • Market on Ninth, from the same family that owns the landmark restaurant Ralph’s, couldn’t get a foothold in the Italian Market and stopped serving after about nine months.
  • The new food hall in the historic Bourse building in Old City has lost two tenants. Mi & Yu Noodle Bar out of Baltimore is closed and the last day for Philly-born Chaat and Chai is May 31. A spokesperson for CANAdev, the company that manages the vendors, says there is a waiting list of more than 75 businesses looking to open in the Bourse, so those two spaces should be filled soon.
  • Also saying goodbye to a couple of vendors is Reading Terminal Market, which lost butcher shop La Divisa Meats. Philly Mag reports that grilled cheese purveyor/cheese shop Meltkraft will close in June.
  • Both locations of Rosa’s Fresh Pizza, one of Philly’s most charitable restaurants, have closed, Philly.com reports. The pizzeria had a pay-it-forward model where customers gave an extra dollar or two for other diners to get free slices.
  • In the Shops at Liberty Place mall in Center City, chain restaurant Ruby Tuesday has closed its doors.
  • On South Street just east of Broad, Cafe V, which was briefly reborn as Vincent Anthony Ristorante, is closed.
  • The Fairmount neighborhood said farewell to local institution London Grill after almost three decades. Terry Berch and chef Michael McNally sold the restaurant, which they took over in 1991.
  • Vegan sandwich shop Wiz Kid is closed, kind of. As Eater noted last month in a guide to vegan eateries, V Street next door, from the same owners, took over the adjacent space. So it’s now one restaurant called V Street, but Wiz Kid’s hits, like the seitan cheesesteak with rutabaga whiz, are available during lunchtime.
  • The Philly offshoot of long-running Bucks Country restaurant Pineville Tavern lasted last than a year in the city.
  • Lunch stop Dixie Picnic at 13th and Chestnut, a Philly location of a Southern eatery in Malvern selling box lunches and “upcakes” (upside-down cupcakes frosted on what’s usually the base), is now closed.
  • Looking ahead, Russet, the seven-year-old farm-to-table BYOB in Rittenhouse from Kristin and Andrew Wood, is bowing out June 30. Amis, the Italian eatery in Washington Square West opened by Marc Vetri, led by chef Brad Spence, and bought by Urban Outfitters, also has an expiration date. It will stop serving at the end of the summer, on August 30. Impending closures have not been announced for the two newer locations of Amis, outside the city in Devon and in Westport, Connecticut.
Pineville Fishtown, the city location of a Bucks County restaurant, is shuttered.
Pineville [official photo]

April 24

  • The Old City outpost of coffee shop Cosi, which had been at 4th and Chestnut for two decades, is closed. The Cosis at 1700 Market, at Penn, and at Temple are still open. Maybe they should bring back the make-your-own s’mores.
  • Trolley Car Station at the 40th Street trolley portal, which opened and then immediately lost its chef, is now closed after only seven months. Developer Ken Weinstein, who also owns Trolley Car Diner in Mt. Airy and Trolley Car Cafe in East Falls, says this is his first time in 23 years as a restaurateur he’s had to close a restaurant. He’s looking for a tenant for the property.
  • The not-for-profit EAT Cafe served its last meal on April 19. The pay-what-you-can restaurant was a project of Drexel University’s Center for Hunger-Free Communities, but didn’t have the funding to stay open.
  • Kensington brewery and taproom Saint Benjamin Brewing Company is closing on May 4. The building was sold and, according to an Instagram post from the brewery, “the buyers just aren’t that into us, so we’re getting kicked to the curb.”
  • Laos Cafe, the Laotian restaurant that opened last summer in the former Grubhouse space on West Passyunk Avenue, is closed, Philly.com reports.
  • W/N W/N Coffee Bar, known for its Pizza Gutt pies, is closed, with Philly Mag reporting that the coffee shop and bar at 10th and Spring Garden will reopen soon under new owners.
  • Sushi burrito fast-casual chain Hai Street Kitchen & Co. is no more, Philly.com reports. The restaurant had already closed a couple locations.

March 29

Mama Palma’s is closed; Palma’s Cucina will open in its place.
Mike Prince

February 26

  • Cinder Copper & Lace, the bar known for its ciders and sour beers at 1500 Locust Street, is closed while owner Teddy Sourias (Tradesman’s, Bru, U-Bahn, this glittery Christmas pop-up) renovates. Update: It’s becoming Blume.
  • University City bruncherie Rx the Farmacy is shuttered after five years at 4443 Spruce Street, per Philly Mag. For the older folk: It wasn’t the same restaurant as the dinner spot Rx previously at the address— both took their name from the building’s former life as a pharmacy. The owners also have a location in New Jersey.
  • The third location of Plenty Cafe, this one in Queen Village, is closed. Owners Anthony and Damon Mascieri are revamping the space (705 S. 5th Street) into a restaurant named Village.
  • 4 Seasons Food Court, a Center City lunch stop with the best salad bar around, has shut its doors after 15 years at 1614 Chestnut Street. Philly.com reports the owners wanted to retire.

January 29

  • Marigold Kitchen, the acclaimed BYOB in West Philly from Tim Lanza and Andrew Kochan, closes Thursday, January 31. The tasting menu-only restaurant couldn’t survive the abrupt shutter of Lanza and Kochan’s newer venture, Talk.
  • It appears that all four Philly Flavors ice cream shops are permanently closed, with the phones disconnected.
  • After 45 years, Imperial Inn in Chinatown has shut its doors. Philly.com was there for the last service.
  • Zinc, the French bistro at 246 S. 11th Street, closed at the very end of 2018 after 15 years. Moving in is sandwich shop Lee’s Hoagie House, Philly Mag reports. Zinc’s sister spot Caribou Cafe, nearby at 1126 Walnut Street, is still open.
  • Port Richmond seafood spot Bait & Switch, from Joe Beckham of Loco Pez, is now closed. Beckham has plans to open something else in the space.
  • Bufad, the pizzeria from the team behind Kensington Quarters, Prohibition Taproom, Cafe Lift, and an upcoming Chinese-Mexican restaurant, is closed for good at 1240 Spring Garden Street.
Marigold Kitchen is shutting its doors in West Philly
Dallyn Pavey/Dish PR

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