KITCHENER -- A longtime community-favourite restaurant in Elmira has announced it will close permanently due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At The Crossroads Family Restaurant announced the news on its website and Facebook page.

"The COVID-19 closure hit us at a particularly difficult time, and we are simply not able to weather this sudden and forced closure over the long term," the announcement reads in part.

The restaurant had been serving Waterloo Region for 24 years.

Hundreds of people took to Facebook to share their surprise and sadness, as well as fond memories of eating at the restaurant.

"I have good memories of working in the bakery and kitchen during high school and undergrad. Baking all the pies for holidays was always fun! The restaurant will be missed," says Facebook user Amy Gofton.

The news comes as Canada's restaurant industry is hit particularly hard by closures caused by the virus.

An estimated 800,000 restaurant workers have lost their jobs across the country as restaurants are reduced to takeout services only.

The effects prompted a collection of hundreds of restaurants to start National Takeout Day in an effort to increase sales and keep restaurants open.

"This is one way that we as Canadians can show the restaurants in our area that we support them and try to help them survive this time until we're able to go back to the dining rooms," Pay Chen, a spokesperson for Canada Takeout Day, said earlier this week.

National Takeout Day is every Wednesday.