Clyde Common, more than anything, was the downtown destination bar. For 12 years, Jeffrey Morgenthaler ruled over the Clyde cocktail program; he invented drinks there, like the Bourbon Renewal, and spearheaded the barrel-aged cocktail trend before it was cool. It earned the bar James Beard nomination after James Beard nomination for Outstanding Bar Program, as well as boisterous crowds of tourists and regulars on the weekends. But Clyde’s kitchen was nothing to scoff at: Celebrated restaurant figures like Magna owner Carlo Lamagna, Jason Barwikowski of places like Hiyu Wine Farm, and Trifecta Tavern’s Chis DiMinno rolled through the kitchen during its 14-year tenure.
However, after numerous stops and starts through the pandemic, owner Nate Tilden officially announced its closure this weekend. “The length of the Covid pandemic, along with ongoing decline in our downtown city core, are direct reasons that Clyde is closing for good,” Tilden writes in an official statement. “Indirect reasons include the extreme difficulty in finding people to work, the anemic economic support from both our local government and the federal government, and the sobering reality that it’s almost impossible to make a full service restaurant and bar in a high-rent district succeed without the tourism and office worker population required.” Tilden notes that Sortis Holdings has purchased the building, also home to the Ace Hotel, though he’s unsure of what will happen next within the space.
In May 2020, Tilden announced that the bar would go through a major shift, continuing to furlough his staff and splitting the space in two: one side would reopen as “Clyde Tavern,” a more casual tavern and restaurant, and the other half would be “Common Market,” more of a grab-and-go space. In August, the restaurant reopened with the return of DiMinno, serving dishes like crab spaghettini and crispy hot chicken. Then, the restaurant closed down for onsite dining again in the fall of 2020; by mid-2021, Tilden himself was making pizzas out of the Clyde kitchen, with DiMinno heading to Grassa and Morgenthaler quietly chipping away at his own line of canned cocktails.
“While we are very sad to see Clyde disappear for good, I am extremely proud of the work we did at Clyde Common over 14 wonderful years,” Tilden writes in the closing statement. “We also won some nice awards, and that’s great, but what I cherish the most is the amazing staff members who walked through the doors each and every day.” Read the full closing announcement below.
• Clyde Common closing announcement [Instagram]
• Clyde Common Will Transform, Turning Half of Its Dining Room Into a Casual Market [EPDX]
• The Newly Reopened Clyde Common Has Brought Back One of its All-Star Chefs [EPDX]
• Previous Clyde Common coverage [EPDX]