Despite its seemingly prime location under the Metra tracks on 57th Street, Istria Cafe will shutter Dec. 18. A call to the location in the Hyde Park Art Center confirmed a rumor that circulated yesterday saying the cafe would close its doors "as early as Dec. 20."
With Istria's closing, that further limits the cafe options for Hyde Parkers, and considering the University of Chicago is there, shouldn't there be more? Yes, there's Istria's other location and there's also the Z&H MarketCafe, Robust Coffee Lounge, Third World Cafe and Medici, but that's pretty much it for indie coffee shops. As far as why it's closing, we're still trying to find out. Calls to owner Marc Pribaz were not returned, but we'll keep you posted if we learn more.
· Istria on 57th Likely to Close Soon [Hyde Park Progress]
Istria Cafe [Photo: Alan Cordova/Flickr]
UPDATE: We received an email from Istria Cafe owner Marc Pribaz a few minutes ago, which said:
With respect to closing our original Istria Cafe on 57th Street, several factors let to this difficult decision. Chief among them include a multitude of inflationary pressures and operational constraints. In order to be a going concern, we need to make adjustments to our menu offerings and business model—changes that we plan to roll out over the next several weeks at our other location on 5030 South Cornell in the Hyde Park Art Center. Unfortunately, the economic model and real estate associated with our original 57th Street location are not compatible at this time. We are saddened that we need to close the doors of our original store, but remain optimistic that the improvements that we have planned will be well received by our customers. We have served many wonderful loyal patrons at 57th Street over the past five and half years and hope to continue to serve them going forward.