As hard as it has been to watch Forest Park lose two of its tonier restaurants in Francesca’s and The Heritage to the ravages of COVID, it somehow stings more to report on the closing Sunday of Mom’s Place, the homey and homely spot tucked next to the U-Haul on Harlem, south of the Ike.

Mom’s Place had a warmth and a welcome that is the essence of community. And when Juan Ruiz, the longtime owner, says he has really missed the everyday regulars during these COVID shutdowns, it rings true. And we are sure the regulars felt just the same way.

Ruiz worked 12-hour days at his place, taking off, he said, only Christmas. It helped that his wife and daughter worked alongside him in this family circle.

These are the spots that make Forest Park home, that build community over a bottomless cup of coffee.

There is a lot we took for granted before COVID. This always-humming breakfast and lunch place was one of them.

Our thanks and our good wishes to the Ruiz family.