For 17 years, Cafe 28 has been serving up outside-the-box Latin fare on Irving Park Road. Those days are now over, as they closed the doors on the location after brunch service yesterday. They announced the news in a Facebook post just last week, mere days before closing up shop.
Owner (and mother) Berta Navarro cites a few reasons for the shutter: Rising rent, on-and-off construction in the area (including on the Metra Ravenswood line) that has taken away some of their parking, and a lack of walking traffic. When the city called to tell them construction is starting again March 4, it was the last straw.
Despite the short notice, Navarro says the restaurant was "jam-packed" over the weekend with generations of regulars saying goodbye. "There was a lot of love this weekend," she says. But the Cafe 28 story is not over, she says they're looking to reopen at a smaller and cheaper location somewhere else in the city. So if you missed your chance to say goodbye, you might have another chance to say hello.
· Cafe 28 [Official Site]
· Cafe 28 to close Feb. 24, but hope remains [Tribune]