Taryn Sullivan • Food Editor
What’s one definite thing available to do in Tyler? Eat. If you’re from Tyler, you probably know some of the good eateries in town. If you’re not from Tyler, you may notice the line of restaurants from one end of Broadway Ave. or Loop 323 to the other end.
Tyler may have a wide variety of local eateries and restaurant options, but those options are slowly decreasing with the new world we are living in.
Unfortunately, many restaurants have had no other option but to close their doors due to COVID-19.
Roast Social Kitchen owners Nick and Jen Pencis announced the closing of their doors on Facebook on Dec. 15, 2020 with an emotional, admirable announcement.
The Pencis’ also own Stanley’s BBQ, a popular Tyler institution.
“The hospitality industry as a whole, has taken a beating during COVID and restaurants have been particularly vulnerable, but we managed to persevere through the darkest part of that trial, because you continued to do your part,” the statement read in part.
The pandemic was not the only reason for the restaurant’s closure.
“Our five year lease is up, and within that time frame, we’ve had the good fortune of purchasing our own properties that we’d like to cultivate,” Roast Social Kitchen owners wrote in their statement.
Perhaps there is something in the works for the former restaurant owners and we may be seeing new innovations from them later down the road.
Right now especially, support for local restaurants is crucial during these times, whether it’s through takeout or dining in.
Delivery services like Waitr, DoorDash, UberEats and Patriot Delivery are slowly, but surely being added to almost every restaurant, especially since the beginning of the pandemic.
This could be causing restaurants to close their doors, due to keeping up with delivery service markets becoming more and more popular. Most restaurants have scaled back their occupancy to 50% and some even have table dividers installed to keep guests apart while feeling safer dining out.
However, some restaurants do not have any kind of social distancing, mask requirements or dividers.
Restaurants like Chuy’s, Shogun’s and Texas Roadhouse will typically have a long wait time on the weekends, while local or new restaurants seem to be the one’s struggling the most through COVID-19 times.
Below is a list of the restaurants that are no longer open due to COVID-19:
Roast Social Kitchen (1125 E 5th St, Tyler, TX 75701)
Grub Burger Bar (6421 S Broadway Ave #130, Tyler, TX 75703)
Crust (7428 Old Jacksonville Hwy, Tyler, TX 75703)
Jack Ryan’s (102 N College Ave, Tyler, TX 75702)
Potbelly Sandwich Shop (6995 S Broadway Ave Ste. 20, Tyler, TX 75703)
Strada Caffè (302 E Front St, Tyler, TX 75702)
El Charro on the Ridge (6899 Oak Hill Blvd, Tyler, TX 75703)
Manny’s Mucho Taco (5930 Old Bullard Rd, Tyler, TX 75703)
Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom (due to bankruptcy before COVID-19 - 405 W SW Loop 323, Tyler, TX 75701)
Supporting small businesses can truly go a long way. If you’re wanting a night out, why not try a local spot, like Little Italy, The Foundry, True Vine, Stanley’s or Lola’s Handcrafted Kitchen. The support is needed now more than ever in these dire times.
Support is important, but so is safety. The CDC website provides three suggestions on what to know when going out.
The more closely you interact with others and the longer the interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.
If you decide to engage in public activities, continue to protect yourself by practicing everyday preventive actions.
Keep these items on hand when venturing out: a face mask, tissues and a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, if possible.
Unfortunately, now might be the time to try a place before it could be affected COVID-19 and added to the list above of restaurant closures.