A list of restaurants that opened and closed in Lincoln during the pandemic
Two commercial realtors made a list of every restaurant in Lincoln that opened and closed in 2020 and what they found may surprise you.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – We saw many restaurants in Lincoln close their doors for good in 2020, but on the opposite end, we saw 28 new doors open.
About 33 Lincoln restaurants served their last meal in 2020, but on the other hand 28 new restaurants popped up in our area during the pandemic. One of them being Rusty Taco, near 27th and Pine Lake.
“I mean it started out with a whole lot of anxiety and it ended up just, everyday, like wow this is fantastic, I can’t even believe it,” Bob Harris, the owner of Rusty Taco said. “What turned into fear turned into a blessing.”
A majority of the new businesses are local establishments rather than chain restaurants, roughly 86% of the new food establishments in Lincoln are locally owned. Many of those new places are also Mexican Restaurants.
Although it seemed as if the pandemic wiped just about every restaurant off of the map, it didn’t.
“I don’t know if the word is surprised or if the word is shocked at how many entrepreneurs were willing to go out there and open,” Robin Eschliman, one of the commercial realtors that created the list said. “Shocked, there weren’t more closings then that frankly.”
In 2014, Lincoln saw much worse. 36 restaurants closed their doors that year and in 2016, 29 businesses shut their lights off.
“I would say we were both surprised at how well the restaurant industry did in 2020,” David Albers, one of the commercial realtors that created the list said. “We both thought that the closings would far out pace the openings.”