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Berrista Closed 'For the Summer' as Homaro Cantu Lawsuit Nears Resolution

Plaintiff's lawyer says case "has been resolved" as sign on Berrista's door says it's closed for the rest of the summer.

Nick Fochtman

A number of signs (and one literal sign) indicate that Berrista, the miracle berry-driven coffee and pastry concept from the late Homaro Cantu that opened last December, is closed—just as the lawsuit involving Cantu's former business partner, who levied serious allegations against Cantu in March, appears to be nearing an endgame.

On July 10, a Facebook user posted the below photograph of a sign reading "Berrista will be closed for the remainder of the summer" and the phone number is no longer in operation.

Meanwhile, the attorney for Alex Espalin, the plaintiff, says he'll go to court on Friday and ask for the case against Cantu to be dismissed. Espalin, an investor in both Moto and Cantu's shuttered iNG, made a variety of allegations in the lawsuit. Among them, he claimed that Cantu's miracle berry was an asset from their business relationship, one that he co-owned. Thus, Espalin wanted a licensing fee for any use of the miracle berry, which would seemingly extend to the operations of Berrista.

It's unclear if Berrista's closure has any connection with any sort of settlement. Espalin's attorney, Leon Teichner, declined comment if a settlement had been reached, only cryptically saying "it's been resolved."

Berrista, like Michelin-starred Moto, re-opened not long after Cantu's funeral in April. And, about six weeks ago, Moto's Trevor Rose-Hamblin said in an interview that the location was "doing just fine." But since Rose-Hamblin has not been directly involved with Berrista, he may not be privy to all available information. Stay tuned.


4219 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60641 (312) 491-3366