The South Loop’s New Orleans-style sweets and coffee spot is slated for temporary closure while ownership seeks out a new location. Akhirah’s Praline Candy & Coffee House will close its doors this week, owner Arron Muhammad wrote on the shop’s Facebook page on Monday. Akhirah’s has operated at 1845 S. State Street since its opening in 2016, offering diners traditional and “gourmet” pralines, as well as chicory coffee and fluffy beignets featuring flavors such as peach cobbler and pecan pie.
“Due to some unfortunate circumstances, we are sorry to announce that Akhirah’s will be closing our doors at 1845 S. State St. this week,” Muhammad wrote. “We do have plans to relocate and reopen.”
The shop’s location on the corner of South State Street and South Archer Avenue has suffered due to a lack of foot traffic, he elaborated in a phone call. Unexpected building and licensing costs further escalated the pressure on Akhirah’s leadership and ultimately prompted the planned shutter and relocation. “It’s been a struggle to keep our doors open because there’s just not a lot of flow here,” Muhammad said.
Akhirah’s will close by the end of the week, but Muhammad isn’t sure which day will be its last. He also isn’t sure where or when he will reopen the shop but said he has a few potential locations in mind. Named for his youngest daughter, the restaurant first opened more than three years ago in the South Loop. A WGN feature story aired last year drew crowds, but “when the dust settled, so did everything else,” said Muhammad. Undaunted, he said he is happy to make beignets in any location.
Pastry fans longing for the flavors of the bayou can still find the delicate puffs of fried dough doused in powdered sugar while Akhirah’s is on the move. Brian Jupiter offers beignets at Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods in Wicker Park, and Paul Fehribach of Andersonville’s Big Jones offers a lightly spiced version on his current brunch menu. Other standout beignets can be found at Darnell Reed’s restaurants Luella’s Southern Kitchen and Luella’s Gospel Bird, and Lowcountry in Wicker Park and the South Loop.
Stay tuned for updates on when and where Akhirah’s lands.