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Michigan Food Writers Remember Some of the Saddest Restaurant Closures of 2020

Revisiting memories of places that we loved and lost in the past year

A female cook rolls out dough for flatbreads at a metal counter while a male employee uses puts a flatbread into a wood-burning oven.
Magnet closed in August, just shy of its one-year anniversary.
Gerard + Belevender
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

As is tradition at Eater, we closed out 2020 by surveying local food writers and our own staff on various restaurant-related topics, and publishing their responses throughout the week. Next up: What was 2020’s saddest restaurant closure?

Serena Maria Daniels, Founder and Editor, Tostada Magazine:

Peso had to be the saddest closure of the year for me. I’m hopeful that they will reopen when the time is right, that they’re just taking a break for now rather than continuing to struggle to find ways to bring folks in to eat. I just miss being able to sit out on their patio, enjoy some birria, and pick from their vast margarita menu.

Mark Kurlyandchik, Restaurant Critic, Detroit Free Press:

Ugh. I hate this question in normal years and it’s all the more painful this year. They’re all sad. I know that’s a cop-out of an answer, but it’s been gutting watching so many people’s life work and savings be wiped out by something out of their control.

Melody Baetens, Restaurant Critic, The Detroit News:

I felt a pang about Magnet’s and Table No. 2’s closing … it was too soon for both. Also, Detroit Institute of Bagels — I hope it gets a new owner and reopens soon.

Zahir Janmohamed, Co-Founder, Racist Sandwich:

Arbor Brewing Company in Ann Arbor. I survived grad school because of that place.

Brenna Houck, Editor, Eater Detroit:

I can’t think of one that’s not sad. People losing their businesses and jobs over a thing that’s out of their control is inherently sad. I, personally, continue to mourn Detroit Institute of Bagels. I used to sit there and work on my computer sometimes and the bagel sandwiches helped sustain me through some home renovations over the past few years. I loved that I could go in and see a lot of familiar faces. I miss that.

Mickey Lyons, Freelance Writer, Eater:

I’d have to say Magnet. It was such a gorgeous buildout and such an amazing, well-executed concept. And for Detroit, it was so great to have so many vegetarian options. I’ll miss that.

Stacey Brugeman, culinary columnist and freelance writer, Traverse Magazine and Eater:

Alliance in Traverse City. They set a new bar for northern Michigan dining and, [after a five year run,] closed for personal reasons. I hope after COVID is behind us restaurants in this area will pick up where they left off.

Clarification, 11:06 a.m., Thursday, December 31: Omar Mitchell of Table No. 2 says that the restaurant is only temporarily closed and will return in another location soon.

All Year in Eater Coverage [ED]

Arbor Brewing Company

114 E Washington St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 (734) 213-1393 Visit Website

Detroit Institute of Bagels

4884 Grand River Avenue, , MI 48208 (313) 512-8292 Visit Website


4842 Grand River Avenue, , MI 48208 (313) 656-2640 Visit Website


2547 Bagley St., Detroit, MI

Table No. 2

18925 Livernois Ave., Detroit, MI 48209 Visit Website