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Top Chef Contestant Permanently Closes Raleigh Restaurant


A “Top Chef” contestant's restaurant in North Carolina has permanently closed down due to revenue losses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Katsuji Tanabe told The News & Observer on Wednesday that his business partner decided to shut down Raleigh's High Horse restaurant due to the money losses. The restaurant had opened in North Carolina's capital city in November 2019.

“High Horse was a profitable restaurant,” Tanabe told the newspaper. “But sometimes it’s not about cooking or being a good service to the community, you have bosses and partners. My partner didn’t feel like trying to reopen and do it all over again.”

Restaurants across the country started shutting down their doors in March to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. Some have since reopened with takeout options and limited capacity seating.

Tanabe told the newspaper that High Horse tried offering takeout, but discovered that wasn’t what diners wanted from a restaurant known for its live experiences.

He said he doesn’t have a project in mind for another restaurant, but has plans to stay in the Raleigh area.

Tanabe, 39, is a native of Mexico City. He competed on seasons 12 and 14 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” in Boston and Charleston, respectively, winning a total of four challenges. He has also appeared on NBC’s “Food Fighters," Food Network's "Chopped," and Travel Channel’s “Chow Masters.” His other restaurants are located in Las Vegas and Chicago.

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