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Future uncertain for restaurant in John Steinbeck birthplace

July 27, 2020 GMT

SALINAS, Calif. (AP) — Loss of business due to the coronavirus is forcing closure of a restaurant in the house where novelist John Steinbeck was born in California’s Salinas Valley, and it’s not known whether it will reopen.

The Mercury News reports the Steinbeck House Restaurant will shut down indefinitely after serving final takeout meals on Aug. 7.

The house was built in 1898 and Steinbeck was born there in 1902.

A local volunteer group called The Valley Guild purchased the Queen Anne-style Victorian and restored it, then opened it as a nonprofit restaurant and gift shop in 1974. Only the chef, dishwasher and bookkeeper are paid positions.

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The restaurant stopped serving when the pandemic hit in March and it then began serving takeout meals in June, but not enough revenue was generated.

“Should fortunes improve, we may restore operations in the future. For now we say goodbye and thank our many friends and visitors from every country in the world for their patronage and support,” Nancy Montana said on behalf of the guild.

The nearby National Steinbeck Center has been closed since March. The center plans a virtual celebration of the 75th anniversary of Steinbeck’s “Cannery Row” on Aug. 1-2.