Clarke's Charcoal Broiler in Mountain View ends 75-year run due to economic fallout from COVID-19 crisis

A beloved Mountain View restaurant has closed its doors.
Clarke's Charcoal Broiler was the oldest operating restaurant in the city until coronavirus struck.

Now, it's 75-year run has come to an end.

The Blach family made the tough decision to shutter the hamburger restaurant for good.

Steve Blach, of Clarke's, said, "What this restaurant means to our family, it's like losing a loved one. It was everything."

They said with the shelter in place order, they were bleeding money. And they weren't convinced the economy would rebound fast enough.They're not alone. Small businesses all over are suffering.

Mountain View Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga said, "As much as we have folks that are asking for help, I've had a lot of folks saying how can we help. And that was what we were really trying to do, answer the call from both sides."

Mountain View has launched a new initiative called #TogetherMV. The goal is to have those in the community who can afford to, donate to those in need.

Since Wednesday, there have been more than 200 donations. Some to rent support. Some to small business relief.The total is nearly $27,000. 

This is in addition to a $1.3 million city relief package, $400,000 of which is earmarked for small businesses, with another $300,000 coming from Google.

The Los Altos Community Foundation is helping to disburse the funds. Adin Miller who works for the organization said, "We're looking for as much economic support as we can get for the small business community to be able to weather this storm and whatever kind of ripples we have coming out of the storm itself."

Clarke's said for them, the storm was just too big.

Once the beloved burger joint announced the closure, they were flooded with comments on their Facebook page.

One poster wrote, "Another iconic great place fades into the sunset." A second wrote, "My dad took me and I took my kids. You will be missed."

Blach said, "There's four generations of families that have celebrated just like we have."

The Blach family wants Mountain View to know how grateful they are for the outpouring of love and years of support.

The Together Mountain View initiative is accepting donations through an online portal:

The hope is to get that money back out to community members in need as quickly as possible.