The table is a place where friends and families gather to make memories together. So you can imagine just how many memories were made at the tables in the Paris Cafe in New York City. Opened in 1873 in the South Street Seaport, this historic pub has seen many decades of diners come and go. Now, it’s time for its doors to close.
This doesn’t mean the memories will end though. Even the cafe’s website boasts the dates “1873 - Forever” on the homepage.
Coronavirus stay-at-home orders have challenged regular restaurant-goers to make dinners at home or to support their local restaurants by ordering takeout. However, in times of economic uncertainty, consumers trying to save money during the coronavirus pandemic are more likely to buy groceries than to spend money eating out frequently.
On May 3, the owner posted a thank-you note to the Paris Cafe’s Facebook page for the many patrons and friends of the restaurant. The owners are “unable to forge a way forward that makes economic sense,” but they remain optimistic saying, “hope springs eternal and perhaps with a change in the economic climate we may find our way back.”
A GoFundMe page was set up to help the unexpectedly unemployed staff. Paris Cafe employees aren’t alone — nearly 8 million furloughs and layoffs have happened in the restaurant industry as a result of the coronavirus, according to the National Restaurant Association. Right now, four in 10 restaurants are closed, according to the same study, and two-thirds of restaurant employees are out of work.
Regulars and visitors alike may not be able to munch on fish and chips while watching a game anymore, but the memories made at the Paris Cafe will live on. Here is a list of other notable restaurants across the country that have permanently closed in the wake of coronavirus.