There are a few Las Vegas restaurants that shattered our hearts when they went out of business.

It’s just simply a sad scene to see anything go out of business. But, a once-lively bar or a bustling restaurant, whose corridors use to echo laughter and where the clanging of pots and pans were the main soundtrack, going completely dark. Well, that’s just heartbreaking.

I remember the first time I saw this. My mother use to work at a successful Japanese restaurant in Metro Detroit. For a few years, it was nearly impossible to get a reservation. People from all sides of the city would flock to try the coveted sushi, the crisp tempura and the warm udon noodles. The staff was like family, and the ship was strong for a few years.

However once the Great Recession of 2008 hit, the business started to decline. My mother eventually left the restaurant and started a new job. We visited the former “neighborhood-claimed” five-star restaurant. But, the restaurant was a shell of what I remembered. There is a plethora of reasons why a business fails. No matter what, it’s still sad.

The Restaurant Business Is Tough — Especially In Las Vegas

Some of the toughest people were bred from the front-lines of the kitchen, grueling bar-back work and dealing with hungry, angry people. The restaurant gig is a tough industry that requires business sense, creativity, good taste and other facets of the human condition.

According to the National Restaurant Association, 30% of restaurants fail in their first year. And it’s no doubt that the pandemic changed the supply chain of food, the labor pool and so much more. Plus to start a restaurant, you need a lot of capital — aka money.

But, when the business is successful, you foster memories, great food that connects people and hopefully you get some money back tenfold.

We send our regards to the restaurants that didn’t survive in 2023. Thank you for being part of the Las Vegas restaurants scene. Scroll down below to see what eateries shuttered their doors in 2023.

  • Sweets Raku

    When Sweets Raku announced its closing, my heart broke. This Chinatown staple was known for out-of-the box desserts. They had pastries that were so creative, different and mind bending. They treated desserts as an art, and going to Sweets Raku was an experience. One of my favorite desserts was called The Caribe, which was coconut panna cotta and mango sorbet. The Mt. Fuji was also delicious and contained sponge cake with chestnut cream and some chocolate.

    We probably won’t see another pastry shop like this for a long time. The art and dedication to the art of pastry making was preserved with each technique and out-of-the-box idea. We will definitely miss Sweets Raku!

  • One Bite Sandwiches & Grilled

    The  Yellow Curry Beef Pho was divine and the bahn mis were simply great. One Bite Sandwiches & Grilled was located in Henderson, and this eatery offered comfy Vietnamese food. It was perfect for a quick bite to eat, but the food didn’t taste “quickly made.” According to Vegas Eater, One Bite Sandwiches & Grilled also offered many things at an affordable price.

  • Vegas Test Kitchen

    Along the list of sad closures, this is another one that was just heart wrenching. So many successful ventures were born from the Vegas Test Kitchen. Located in Downtown Las Vegas, the Test Kitchen was in business for 2.5 years, and it was a brainchild bred from the pandemic. The Vegas Test Kitchen offered a variety of rotating chefs who were testing out new concepts, food and drinks.

    On the website, founder of Vegas Test Kitchen Jolene Mannina said, “As we bid farewell, we hold onto the belief that this model we have built will find its way back to life once again. We will cherish the memories we have created, the flavors that have danced on our palates, and the friendships that have been forged. The closure is not a goodbye, but rather a celebration of what we have accomplished together.”

  • L2 Texas BBQ

    L2 Texas BBQ offered tender pulled pork, sticky delicious wings and other Texas favorites that just made your mouth water. On Sept. 30, 2023, L2 posted that they would be closing their doors forever. A flood of comments started to appear on the post with people upset and shocked by the news. Oh how we wish we could taste their brisket one more time. It was some of the best in town! It’s unclear what lead to this decision, but the social media accounts have been silent since the business posted they would be closing their doors forever at 8 p.m. on Sept. 30, 2023.

    It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of L2 Texas BBQ closing permanently, tonight at 8 pm. To our amazing...

    Posted by L2 TEXAS BBQ on Saturday, September 30, 2023

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