In keeping with Eater tradition, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. To kick it off in the Carolinas, Eater asked the group seven questions, ranging from the restaurants they frequented for takeout to the saddest surprises of the year. Responses are in no particular order, and readers are encouraged to leave answers in the comments.
Q. What was 2021’s saddest restaurant closure?
Jenn Rice, freelance writer and Eater Carolinas contributor, covering NC
Crook’s Corner. I think everyone in the industry was startled by this news, as it truly marks the end of an era for a Southern institution. RIP.
Matt Lardie, freelance writer and Eater Carolinas contributor, covering NC
Luckily I can’t think of a big loss, as opposed to 2020.
Eric Ginsburg, independent journalist and Eater Carolinas contributor, covering NC
Greensboro institution and fast-food icon Beef Burger closed permanently this year, and while I considered it more of a once-in-a-while spot, it will be sorely missed.
Dave Infante, editor of Fingers, an independent newsletter about drinking in America
Got nothing, sorry!
Jacob Pucci, food and dining reporter for The Fayetteville Observer
The closure is only temporary, but the Pik-N-Pig in Carthage burning down over Memorial Day weekend stung, not only because of all the time and work that went into it, but because Carthage is a small town, so the whole community felt the loss.
Kay West, freelance writer and Eater Carolinas contributor, covering Asheville
The good news was Asheville experienced surprisingly few restaurant closures in 2021. But the last week of the year brought the sad news that Chiesa, an intimate and endearing Italian restaurant in Asheville’s historic Montford neighborhood, was closing permanently. Chiesa is Italian for church, which is what the building was before being turned into a restaurant in 2014, where the mantra was “Food for the soul.” Indeed the cozy space which used the original pews as banquette seating was a sanctuary of welcome and warmth to all and will be missed.
Maggie Ward, events and marketing manager of The Local Palate
There were some big losses this year — Fat Hen, Pane e Vino, Tu — but I took Eastside Bagel personally. I’m still looking for my new neighborhood bagel shop us Eastsiders can walk to in 10 minutes or less, but the space’s new Dos Taqueria concept has eased the pain with a killer breakfast burrito worth the stroll.
Erin Perkins, editor Eater Carolinas
Basil because it was a downtown staple — it wasn’t pushing any boundaries, but made some solid larb and tom kha gai. Tu because it was pushing boundaries, and I don’t think Charleston quite appreciated that.
Kenneth Andrews, Eater Carolinas contributor
For me I was definitely bummed to lose Workshop. There have been some amazing food there for sure but it was also a nice easy to go to hangout spot. Before the pandemic I even had a tabletop board game group hangout every Thursday.
Barbara Skidmore, Eater Carolinas contributor, covering SC and Savannah
Bistro Toulouse in Mount Pleasant. After seven years in Mount Pleasant, it was an unexpected closure of a local staple.
Cele and Lynn Seldon, Seldon Ink