[UPDATE July at 10:29 a.m.: David Racine and Lee Goodfriend announced they will not re-open Racines as planned due to the impending sale of the property and the impacts of COVID-19. Originally the pair hoped to re-open for a final goodbye and celebration on January 15, 2021, before closing for good.
“Although we had always planned to be back in business, this darn pandemic makes it impossible,” said Racine. “The risks involved in reopening with limited capacity for just a few months really don’t make sense for us or our treasured staff.” ]
After more than 40 years in the restaurant business, Lee Goodfriend and David Racine have decided to retire and close Racines. The partners announced the building and land that their 36-year-old Governor’s Park staple calls home is under contract to a developer. Goodfriend explains that while the current climate is a part of a motivating factor, the decision is ultimately a personal one.
“While rising labor costs, property tax increases, the labor shortage and governmental intrusion all factored into this bittersweet decision,” said Goodfriend, “it’s really about retirement and having the chance to travel and enjoy our lives that have been consumed by this business.”
As a result, the all-day restaurant, once known as a hotspot for politicos, will close for good on January 15, 2021. They plan to re-open to celebrate their tenure once they are able to under the current coronavirus measures.
“The news of the COVID-19 pandemic and statewide restaurant closures are much more important right now than our future plans,” said Goodfriend. “Unfortunately, the progress of the deal forces us to announce this right now. We look forward to re-opening after everyone is safe to celebrate our successful 36 year run with the guests and staff who have always supported us.”
Goodfriend and Racine are able to take this long goodbye approach, even in a time of such economic uncertainty, because of well-planned foresight. Nearly 16 years ago, after the pair had to close their original location on Bannock due to a demolition clause in their lease, the partners bought the land upon which their current Sherman location sits. Their vow to never allow a landlord to determine their future has paid off. But unfortunately, their planning has left them a lingering question.
“I’m not sure where I’ll eat after we close, I still love the food,” said Goodfriend.