COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST) — With the lifting of pandemic-related restrictions, the rollout of vaccines, and an infusion – at least for some – of federal support, 2021 might not have been as dire for restaurants as 2020.

But the year still saw a fair share of high-profile closures, including a number of restaurants that had been dining staples around the city multiple decades.

Some attributed closings directly to Covid and the fallout from the pandemic. Others chalked it up to the normal course of business – sales, retirements, real estate opportunities.

For a slideshow of the restaurants that closed this year, click here.

The biggest of these names came from the ranks of the city’s fine dining realm.

G. Michael’s Bistro & Bar closed in German Village in September after 23 years of business.

Though M at Miranova technically closed in 2020 – it actually never reopened after the initial shutdown – Cameron Mitchell Restaurants didn’t confirm the decision to close its signature upscale restaurant until this past spring.

The damage continues to be indiscriminate to restaurant age, delivery style, cuisine or even ownership, be it independent or established chains.

Notable local brands such as Old Bag of Nails and Sweet Carrot closed restaurants, albeit for differing reasons. Old Bag sold off its Gahanna unit and its Pour House sister bar, while the fast-casual Sweet Carrot struggled to recover amid the pandemic’s challenges though it continues as a catering-only brand.

Small operators such as the Wildflower Café, Japanese Oriental Restaurant, and the Olde Village Diner in Pickerington – each in business for decades, all closed.

Even chains including Panera Bread and Bob Evans closed local units this year.

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