Local foodies know well what effect the last two years have had on the restaurant industry. This year alone, old and new restaurants have closed in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties.
As 2021 draws to a close, here’s a look at some of the restaurants we already miss.
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Bottom:More than 30 restaurants closed in the Wilmington area since the COVID-19 pandemic began
1900 Restaurant and lounge
Since opening more than 8 years ago in Lumina Station, this restaurant has been home to popular local chefs and an important part of the Wrightsville Beach area social scene.
Plus:More Wilmington-Area Restaurants Announce Closures
A & G’s Bar-B-Que & Chicken
The owners decided to retire and close this place that served classic southern cuisine in Carolina Beach. Fortunately, the new owners have taken over the space and now Butts-N-Such is serving BBQ and more at 802 S. Lake Park Blvd. It does your heart good to see that they still serve specialties like chicken and pastries.
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What’s a great beach town without a classic seafood spot? That is what this restaurant was for locals and visitors for over 17 years. A temporary closure in November 2020 led to a permanent one for this family-friendly breakfast / lunch / dinner restaurant in Surf City.
Plus:‘I never really expected to do this’: Surf City’s main restaurant closes after 17 years
The cross-eyed crab
One of the newer local restaurant closures is this bar and grill on Boardwalk Way in Carolina Beach. It was a popular spot for comfort food and dishes like crab balls and homemade veal soup with vegetables. The owners cited the dissolution of the company as a reason for the closure.
Detour Deli & Café
I know I’m not the only one wishing I could enjoy one more sandwich from this deli that closed in April on Red Cross Street. Maybe a Bahn Mi, or one of the cakes. The project partners announced that they would undertake new projects. Hopefully we can see the results in 2022.
Plus:Wilmington’s popular sandwich place with foodies is closing
With love, Lydia Bakery
Great coffee, avocado toast, deliciously adorable lunchbox pies … what wouldn’t I love at this cafe and bakery at 1502 S. 3rd St.? Pastry chef Lydia Clopton announced the closure in January and she and chef Dean Neff have since opened Seabird in downtown Wilmington. His former bakery space is now home to Mariposa Tapas Bar.
Plus:Wilmington South Front Bakery Announces Closure
Plus:9 Things to Expect at Seabird in Downtown Wilmington
Niche kitchen and bar
This restaurant at 5954 Carolina Beach Road announced it would be closing after 11 years in business in June 2021, citing staffing issues. In that time, it had become popular for an eclectic menu and patio dining that continued to grow and evolve during the pandemic.
Plus:Just add heat: Wilmington-area restaurants are ready for winter dinners
Oak Island Restaurant
Although owner Dave Sigmon died more than a year ago, it wasn’t until September that his family announced they were selling this 22-year-old restaurant on Oak Island. Over the years, it became a destination known for its seafood and home-cooked meals. The new owners plan to bring a different concept to the space.
Plus:Brunswick County’s Oak Island Restaurant Closes, Sold to New Owners After 22 Years
It can be especially difficult to say goodbye to restaurants that have been around for so long that generations of diners have enjoyed the food and atmosphere. This restaurant behind New Hanover High School has been serving students and all kinds of locals for over 37 years before closing in April. Rest in peace, fried chicken parchies.
Previous reports:Wilmington’s former Parchies restaurant to close soon
Plus:Is beer bringing excitement back to Wilmington’s soda district?
Thirst for wine
Amy Siler and Shawn Underwood added a small kitchen to their bottle store in an effort to expand their business during the pandemic. Usually they made the ever-changing menu themselves, often with the idea of which wines and beers would pair well with the dishes. Unfortunately, they had to close the restaurant in September due to a leasing dispute, but said they were looking for adequate space to bring their restaurant back. Meanwhile, the wine store remains open to the public at 5226 S. College Road.
Plus:Wilmington cafe and store to close after 37 years in business
Gourmet coffee temptations
Another long-term business that closed in 2021 is this café and wine and sweet shop, which has also been a part of the local food scene for nearly four decades. It could have been the ideal lunch spot near the Hanover Center on Oleander Drive.
Allison Ballard is the food and meal reporter at StarNews. You can reach her at email@example.com.