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31 Madison-area restaurants that said goodbye permanently in 2020

31 Madison-area restaurants that said goodbye permanently in 2020

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At least 31 restaurants — including cafes, coffee shops, taverns and brew pubs — in the Madison area closed for good this year, starting with a few before COVID-19 struck. Many more will struggle this winter without outdoor patio seating and with reduced indoor capacities due to city-county restrictions.

A number of other restaurants have closed temporarily, including Graft, Vin Santo in Middleton, Doc's Smokehouse, Ground Zero Coffee, Ogden's North Street Diner, Merci, Pasqual's Cantina on East Washington Avenue, Village Green Tavern in Middleton, Plow in Cambridge, Eldorado Grill, The Avenue Club, Johnny Delmonico’s and Fresco. They're not included on this list. 

The National Restaurant Association released survey data this month showing that 110,000 restaurants nationwide have closed permanently throughout the pandemic.

In a survey of 6,000 Wisconsin restaurant operators conducted in late November, 37% said it was unlikely their restaurant would be in business in another six months if there are no additional relief packages from the federal government.

Even though loyal customers have been supporting their favorites by frequently ordering takeout or by buying gift cards for future, post-pandemic visits, overall restaurant sales were down 39% on average, according to the survey.

Forty-six percent of Wisconsin operators said they're considering temporarily closing until the pandemic ends, and many said they're anticipating more layoffs.

The restaurants listed here are largely ones where the closings were covered by stories in the Wisconsin State Journal.

This list will be updated. If you know of a place we missed, please email me at


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