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About 20 percent of Massachusetts restaurants have closed for good

Nearly a fifth have not reopened since the start of the pandemic, according to new numbers from the state’s restaurant association.

The Cheers bar in Faneuil Hall has closed for good.
The Cheers bar in Faneuil Hall has closed for good.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Nearly a fifth of Massachusetts restaurants have not reopened since the start of the pandemic, according to new numbers from the state’s restaurant association.

Massachusetts Restaurant Association president Bob Luz told WBZ-TV that means roughly 3,600 of the 16,000 spots within state borders have permanently closed because of the pandemic’s financial repercussions. The statistic is in line with the organization’s June prediction that said the virus would wipe out more than a quarter of Massachusetts restaurants, many of them in Boston.

“We have the highest concentration of restaurants and restaurant seats by far, in all of New England,” Luz said on WBZ. “And we have so few people that are actually traveling into the city.”

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Hundreds of restaurants welcomed customers again this summer with changes that allow for socially-distanced dining, largely outdoors. Still, favorites like the Cheers bar in Faneuil Hall, The Pour House, the Friendly Toast, and Regina Pizzeria in Allston have not survived in recent weeks.

Mayor Marty Walsh called the restaurant closures “heartbreaking” last week.

Diti Kohli can be reached at diti.kohli@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ditikohli_.