Birch to close in Oct. due to COVID-19

BENJAMIN SUKLE, owner of Oberlin and birch restaurants in Providence, announced that birch will have its last service on Oct. 19, citing concerns over the spread of COVID-19 and the pandemic's impact on operations at the 18-seat restaurant. / PBN FILE PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY

PROVIDENCE – Providence restaurant staple birch is closing permanently due to the COVID-19 pandemic, acclaimed chef and co-owner Benjamin Sukle announced on Tuesday. 

The 18-seat restaurant has been in operation for seven and half years. Sukle said he will continue to operate his other Providence restaurant, Oblerlin.

The last day of service for birch will be on Oct. 19.

“Once the weather cools (it is still perfectly warm out y’all) and outdoor dining dwindles, birch cannot survive another shift. Eating indoors is a scary, last-resort situation,” Sukle said of the upcoming closure on Instagram. “A lot of business owners are being forced to decide [or] place value towards making a dollar or ensuring public health and safety standards during a pandemic. … This is my choice and I don’t fault anyone else during these times who must continue to choose.”

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Sukle also thanked his employees and guests, saying, “birch is closing with grace, humility and beauty because of them. 

“I have new goals and new challenges that I need to get to and closing birch is part of this process. Thanks for having us PVD,” Sukle’s post concluded.

Sukle last year was a finalist for a prestigious James Beard Award in the category of best chef.


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