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 eight questions, ranging from the restaurants they frequented 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 2023’s saddest restaurant closure?
Eric Ginsburg, Eater Carolinas contributor, covering North Carolina
I was bummed that Jack Tar (202 Corcoran Street) in Durham and Humble Pie (317 S. Harrington Street) in Raleigh closed, but the silver lining is that Cheeni and Figulina are filling their shoes. I never made it to DK Bones BBQ (2006 E. Green Drive) in High Point before they shuttered, which is disappointing. Speaking of barbecue, Buxton Hall’s closure in Asheville is a big loss (though I have to admit I hadn’t had a chance to go in years).
Mike Ledford, photographer and Eater Carolinas contributor
Red Orchids Bistro (1401 Sam Rittenberg Boulevard, Charleston). Nothing else like it in the area, and nothing could take its place if it tried.
Hanna Raskin, editor and publisher of The Food Section
I’ve talked to enough restaurant owners to know it’s helpful when patrons recognize that even restaurants have life cycles, but I was sorry to see Butcher & Bee (1085 Morrison Drive, Charleston) go.
Stacey Sprenz, photographer and Eater Carolinas contributor
Fine Folk (2409 Crabtree Boulevard, Raleigh)
Catherine Currin, Eater Carolinas contributor, covering the Triangle
Humble Pie (317 S. Harrington Street, Raleigh)!
Kayleigh Ruller, Eater Carolinas contributor, covering Charlotte
OG farm-to-table restaurant Gus’ Sir Beef (4101 Monroe Road) officially closed in April 2023 after 54 years. A cultural icon witnessing Charlotte’s growth right before its humble little eyes. And that right there is sad.
Matthew Lardie, Eater Carolinas contributor, covering North Carolina
For me it was Fine Folk (2409 Crabtree Boulevard) in Raleigh — there was so much buzz about them, and so many folks talked about their amazing food, and I was never able to get out there in the short time they were open!
Melissa Howsam, editor-in-chief, Raleigh Magazine
Rockford (320 1/2 Glenwood Avenue). The first restaurant to open on Glenwood South, it was more than a restaurant, it was a Raleigh relic that will forever be missed.
Jai Jones, food writer and photographer
Baker & Brewer (94 Stuart Street, Charleston). This was always a go-to for me Downtown, so I was sad to see them go. Thankfully the Pistachio Pesto pizza and many of the beers live on at Evo Pizza and Holy City Brewing in Park Circle.
Stephanie Burt, writer and host of The Southern Fork
Gus’ Sir Beef (4101 Monroe Road) in Charlotte. It was an important part of the restaurant fabric, a legacy place.
Barbara Skidmore, Eater Carolinas contributor, covering South Carolina and Savannah
I have two this year, both in Mount Pleasant. Sad to see long-time lunch space the Pickled Palate (1528 Ben Sawyer Boulevard) and Little Miss Ha (915 Houston Northcutt Boulevard) also leaving the area for a different city. Both are already missed.
Parker Milner, food editor, Post & Courier
Little Miss Ha (915 Houston Northcutt Boulevard) was the latest independent restaurant to close when lease renewal time came up. I already miss swinging by for egg rolls, banh xeo, and pho.
Stephanie Burnette, Eater Carolinas contributor
My jeans. They’re not closing after this year.
Erin Perkins, editor Eater Carolinas
Vietnamese food at Little Miss Ha (915 Houston Northcutt Boulevard) was always the highlight of running errands in Mount Pleasant, so I’m already missing owner Janice Hudgins and her family.
Collective grief settled over locals when nicest-chef-in-Asheville Dan Silo announced in April he was closing his Adirondack-infused restaurant Sawhorse (101 New Leicester Highway), taking his world-famous, hubcap-sized buckwheat pancake, grandma’s brown earthenware jug, peameal bacon sandwich, and NY Rangers swag back north.