Omicron devastates Chicago restaurants

Lost Lake, which is closing this weekend, is one of almost 300 restaurants to close since Q4 of 2021.

Chicago /
Jan.January 10, 2022 12:44 PM

Lost Lake, which is closing this weekend, is one of almost 300 restaurants to close since Q4 of 2021 (iStock, Google Maps)

Lost Lake, a tropical-themed bar on the Avondale side of West Diversey Avenue, is one of almost 300 Chicago restaurants to permanently close since the start of last quarter as a result of the pandemic.

The restaurant announced Friday on its Instagram page that Jan. 13, its seventh anniversary, will begin its last weekend of business, according to Crain’s. Chicago restaurants opened for indoor dining about a year ago.

Lost Lake’s Instagram post said a super spreader surge “wiped-out what would usually be our busiest time of the year.”

“Thank you so much for all the support, from our very first day until this one,” the post continued. “You’ve made a lot of dreams come true over here.”

Crain’s, citing data from food and beverage analytics firm Datassential, reports that roughly 280 restaurants closed in the fourth quarter of 2021, just as Covid-19 booster shots offered a tantalizing taste of a return to pre-pandemic fun for local diners after almost two years of lockdowns and social distancing. By comparison, just 23 restaurants closed in the fourth quarter of 2019, the last quarter before the pandemic, Crain’s reports.

Not only have sales been down, but many restaurants, including Lost Lake, have had to close temporarily as a result of understaffing due to the spread of the coronavirus, according to Crain’s.

Lost Lake’s announcement appears to have resonated with local diners – the bar, known for its creative cocktails, took to its Instagram page again over the weekend to thank the community for an outpouring of support after its announcement. Reservations for the upcoming weekend are sold-out and the bar has “very few” spaces left for walk-ins. The webstore also sold out of merchandise.

“We were totally overwhelmed by the response yesterday– after a really abysmal month of to-go business, we were NOT prepared for the amount of folks that placed orders yesterday!” read the post.

[Crain’s] – Harrison Connery





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