Josh Ozersky views the closure of Bill’s Gay Nineties in New York City as a bad sign of the times, lamenting how 2012 was not a good year for restaurants with history. Time‘s resident voice on all things food worries that the string of closures spell larger problems for our cultural identity. Especially when “faux clones” are the ones taking over.

He brings up Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago and Philly’s Le Bec Fin in the “blizzard of closures,” and he questions those who “support super high-end tweezer-food palaces” while “middle-of-the-road places have been hit hard by recession.”

Questionable inductive reasoning aside, Ozersky’s concern is not unfounded. He wants us to consider that “new market pressures such as crazy rent, difficult credit, and the unpredictable forces of Yelp and blogs have put a lot of places on the brink much faster than they would have before.” And while some restaurants have become “a kind of show business,” those like Bill’s Gay Nineties are well worth a collective effort to preserve.

[via Time]