Bethany Clough

Here are all the stores and restaurants that closed in the Fresno area in 2018

The Chicken Man restaurant has closed

Rudy Jr.'s Chicken Man struggled when the Clinton overpass closed. She had hoped to make it when interviewed in 2018, but the restaurant closed in June 2017. She hopes to reopen.
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Rudy Jr.'s Chicken Man struggled when the Clinton overpass closed. She had hoped to make it when interviewed in 2018, but the restaurant closed in June 2017. She hopes to reopen.

Make a list of every Fresno area store and restaurant that closed this year, and it can seem pretty depressing.

To some extent, it was another tough year, at least for the big national chains like Toys R Us and Kmart. They continued their avalanche of bankruptcies and closures that spilled over from 2017. But 2018 wasn’t nearly as bad as last year, which saw 40 stores and restaurants close in the Fresno area.

Some of the closures are part the normal churn of small businesses opening and closing, something that happens even during thriving economic times.

And if you need to cheer yourself up after reading this, check out the list of two dozen restaurants scheduled to open in 2019.

In the meantime, here’s a look at what closed in 2018:

8th Notch Coffee & Gifts, a downtown coffee shop formerly called Dale Bros., closed this fall.

Aaron Brothers, the framing store in River Park was part of a massive nationwide closure.

Berlin Street Grill, the Mediterranean restaurant with a German twist at Cedar and Herndon avenues closed earlier this year.

Blast 825 at Sierra Vista Mall closed late this year. The company still has its Old Town Clovis location, Blast & Brew.

Brew Fix, the little coffee shop at Fulton and Calaveras streets, closed in May and was replaced with Ohana Pantry.

Casa de Tamales’ owner was a hardcore supporter of downtown, but said revitalization just didn’t happen fast enough. The Fulton Street location closed in February, but its Olive Avenue restaurant and its mobile operation continue.

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Tables and seating alongside fountainsoutside Casa de Tamales along Fulton following Fulton Street’s official opening earlier Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 in Fresno. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA ezamora@fresnobee.com

Cavelle Kids at 625 3rd St. closed, but owner Jessica Elrod continues to design and sell kids clothing at www.cavellekids.com.

Cellar Door, the Visalia night club, closed in August, but new owners reopened it recently.

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Bethany Clough The Fresno Bee

El Torito in downtown Fresno closed in October, yet another victim of its parent company’s closures, which included Chevys Fresh Mex and Acapulco Restaurant y Cantina.

El Toro Cafe at Cedar and Shields avenues closed after 55 years in April.

Ginza Asian Bistro at Palm and Nees avenues has closed and the space is for rent.

Giuseppe Gallo’s at Willow and Nees avenues in Clovis closed.

Herb Bauer Sporting Goods closed after 68 years. It’s been replaced with Turner’s Outdoorsman.

Jersey Mike’s Subs at Shaw and Villa avenues in Clovis closed in January.

Kmart closed its Clovis store, one of many locations the struggling retailer has closed around the nation. Stores in Lemoore, Visalia, Delano and Merced are also in the process of closing.

La Arepa, the Venezuelan restaurant in the Tower District, closed in November.

Las Palmas Restaurant on Main Street in Visalia closed after 53 years.

Limón Peruvian Cuisine closed its Fort Washington and Friant roads last spring, but its Herndon and Marks avenues location is still open.

Orchard Supply Hardware closed all its stores, including seven in the Fresno area.

Mattress Firm closed hundreds of stores nationwide after filing for bankruptcy, including the one at Shaw Avenue and Fresno Street. Five are still open in Fresno and Clovis.

Poki Poutine started in Sierra Vista Mall as FRI Poutinerie, serving the Canadian treat of french fries drenched in gravy and cheese curds. It added poke and changed its name before closing in November.

Plaza Ventana closed its restaurant at Shaw and Marks avenues, but the one on Blackstone Avenue near Shaw remains open.

Quesadilla Gorilla will close its downtown Fresno location Dec. 14. Its restaurants near Fresno High and in Visalia remain open.

REV’S in Clovis closed abruptly in October, leaving several servers unpaid at the time.

Ride 54, a locally owned cycling studio that also offered strength training near Friant Road and Highway 41, has closed.

Rudy Jr.’s Chicken Man, a hole-in-the-wall Fresno favorite at Weber and Hughes avenues, closed in June after 51 years in business.

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Steak ‘n Shake employee Felix Rios carries out empty boxes during the restaurant’s set up Wednesday morning. JOHN WALKER jwalker@fresnobee.com

Steak ‘n Shake was hugely anticipated when it opened on Kings Canyon Road in Fresno, but for reasons that are hotly debated, it couldn’t attract steady crowds. It closed in June.

Toys R Us and Babies R Us failed in a spectacular collapse of major retailer. The Fresno Toys R Us has already been taken over by a new Big Lots.

Uncle Buddy’s Smokehouse N Grill in Old Town Clovis closed in April due to the owner’s health. Fogo Caliente International Steakhouse has opened in that spot.

Valparaiso Cafe & Roastery inside Bitwise South Stadium closed in August, but is planning to reopen in the former 8th Notch space at 744 P St. Valparaiso’s first location was filled with USBean Brew Station.

Yellow Mug Coffee, the independent coffee shop at Champlain Drive and Perrin Avenue, closed in December.

Zen Wok Fusion in the Tower District closed after seven years in business. The owner continues to run his catering business out of the space and may eventually open another restaurant.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough
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