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COVID forces closings of favorite stores and restaurants

Lili Wortmann ‘21


Many students have felt the stress and anxiety of all the adversities this year has had as a result of COVID-19 and the election year. For many cities, financial instability has been the main worry for many people struggling with making ends meet and keeping businesses afloat. While it seems that Sarasota was not hit the hardest compared to some other cities, it still felt the domino effect of the receding economy of 2020. The election also caused a lot of strain for the local businesses because of the stress and worry about what it would mean for their business and whether the economy was stable enough to stay open.

Emily Richford ‘21 said she was sad to see Smacks shut down.

“It’s really sad to see family friendly place go, where so many locals went for their burger and fries,” Richford said.

Poppo’s Taqueria: on St. Armands is another restaurant that closed because of COVID-19 and not being able to stay afloat with the struggle of the economy.

Surf Shack & Terrace: a seafood restaurant on St. Armands that closed for the same reasons.

Umbrellas 1296: a restaurant downtown.

Nancy’s Bar-B-Q: was downtown.

Retail stores have also been hit with financial struggles as well, including:

Stein Mart, a clothing store, closed in 2020 due to bankruptcy.

Catherine’s, a plus-sized store, closed recently.

Sophomore Taylor Lockner said she has felt the loss with theaters open fewer days per week. AMC is open three days a week Friday through Sunday. Regal Hollywood is still closed and hopefully reopen soon.

While many of Sarasota’s loved restaurants are closing, many new and exciting restaurants are opening around the city as well including:

Bento Box: a sushi restaurant near the UTC mall.

The Parrot Bar & Grill restaurant on Webber that is family friendly and similar to Geckos has also opened at Bee Ridge and Shade.

Although, many are sad to say goodbye to the restaurants that have been a home to so many locals for so long, there are many new small businesses around town that are waiting with open arms.

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