After two devastating years for the restaurant industry, independent restaurateurs who hung on by their fingernails through the pandemic hoped 2022 might be different. Instead, mounting inflation, staffing shortages, supply-chain problems and a general dearth of hope led to a wave of closures and disappointments.
But that’s not the whole story. Dozens of innovative restaurateurs not only opened in 2022 but found critical and commercial success. Some started small, with pop-ups to gauge interest, while others were multi-million-dollar launches that led to national exposure.
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