12/28/2012 05:51:00 PM

2012: The Year in Philadelphia Restaurant Closings

Quality steaks weren't enough to keep Reserve open
While 2012 brought a bumper crop of new restaurants to Philadelphia, this year also had its share of closures. Old City was hit especially hard - though no one’s really mourning the loss of party bar Mad River or cavernous steakhouse Reserve, Q BBQ & Tequila had been a solid choice for ‘cue on Chestnut Street for several years.

Brunch options went down by several, as Fourth Street’s Cafe Estelle shuttered over the summer and South Philly’s Carman’s Country Kitchen closed up shop last week. If you’re still looking for a waffle, don’t try the Center City outpost of Bonte - it went out of business while customers were still sitting at tables.

Drinkers can no longer sip on fancy shot-and-beer combos at The Boilermaker on Eleventh Street, nor on tropical infusions at Rum Bar in Rittenhouse. The fantastic beer selection and cocktails at Tapestry in Bella Vista went the way of all the former restaurants in that (cursed?) corner spot, which is to say, down the drain. Dive bar lovers lost an old standby when the Tritone closed on South Street West.

Fine dining had its share of losses, too. David Katz is taking a break from working the line and is now trying his hand at being a meat purveyor instead of turning out plates at Mémé. Mike Stollenwerk has finally given up trying to find a new fit for Fish (the restaurant remains open, but without the chef, its future looks uncertain), and Daniel Stern shut down his University City New American MidAtlantic in February. Grand steakhouse Union Trust was never able to recover from recession-induced financial woes.

We even lost a few chain outposts - Buca di Beppo is gone from 15th Street, and The Insider just reported Center City’s Krispy Kreme will stop service on December 30.

However, in the case nearly every example we’ve listed, a new restaurant has popped up to replace what’s gone, so there’s no need to get maudlin about what we’re missing. Here’s to more of that in 2013.


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