A popular restaurant on Chicago’s North Side has announced plans to close its beloved cafe after 40 years in business.
Lincoln Square neighborhood staple Café Selmarie, known for its bakery and restaurant, has revealed it will close its doors in early 2024, just after the establishment celebrated its 40th anniversary this month.
The restaurant’s owner and co-founder, Birgit Kobayashi, will retire when the restaurant closes.
“Since the passing of my business partner Jeanne in 2017 and long before that, my daughter and General Manager of Café Selmarie, Connie has been my rock, my guide, my advisor, my supporter, my constructive critic and the captain of the ship . Despite a truly wonderful staff, we find ourselves ready for this new chapter in our lives,” Kobayashi said in a statement. “After decades of cooking and baking, it’s time to sit down. I want to travel with my husband and have time to indulge in other interests. We have met so many wonderful people over the years and celebrated birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and graduations with them. We’ve seen this sleepy northern enclave blossom into the charming and bustling Lincoln Square neighborhood right at our front door. We are forever grateful to our customers for their support throughout the years. »
Café Selmarie has been in Lincoln Square’s Giddings Plaza since 1983, when two Giddings Street neighbors opened a storefront serving pastries and coffee, with what was considered the neighborhood’s first espresso machine. Eventually, the restaurant expanded in 1999 and was no longer limited to just pastries.
“We were inspired by European cafes and cafes,” Kobayashi said. “We wanted fresh products, prepared with the best ingredients, served in a warm and inviting setting. »
In its final months, the restaurant announced plans to celebrate its 40th anniversary with a special three-course dinner Sept. 21-28, a cookie giveaway and a photo exhibit in its dining room depicting its history. Menu classics will also make a return, including hazelnut cheesecake and apricot-hazelnut tartlets.
For fans of the cafe’s staples, Kobayashi said the holiday season will be “business as usual at the bakery,” including its popular Stollen, Linzer Torte, Yule Logs and Eggnog.