After 12 years on Milwaukee Avenue, Lovely Kitchen & Cafe has abruptly closed its doors in Noble Square. The coffee shop, which served pastries and sandwiches, posted a note on its doors announcing its last day was Friday, June 22. No reason was give for the shutter and the note was also posted on the cafe’s website. The spot was originally known as Lovely: A Bake Shop and the name change reflected a 2016 ownership change.
The walls are papered up and the phone’s been disconnected. The property had been on the market for some time. Read a portion of the note to customers below:
“Our guests have always made us feel like a part of this community and we are so grateful. We hope that we have provided as many special memories as you have given us. We are extremely thankful for your loyal patronage. We will miss you all dearly.”
Lovely’s original iteration opened in 2006. The shop featured a patio where customers played bags and sipped drinks. Founders Bob & Gina Hartwig, who also run Bakin’ & Eggs in Lakeview, were married on the patio when it debuted in 2008. The couple also opened a second cafe in Edgewater. Lovely, Too opened in 2012 and lasted five years before closing in 2017. The Hartwigs sold the original Lovely in 2016 to manager Mary Marasovic. Attempts to contact her haven’t been successful.
The decor was kitschy and the atmosphere was laid back. It was a haven away from the “serious” coffee shops that have dominated the Wicker Park and Logan Square areas in recent years. If developers leave the space alone, it could be attractive to a new restaurant along Milwaukee Avenue. Stay tuned.