Many people have said that this one cafe made life much more tolerable in retail/social gathering spot/bohemian culture--deprived Hyde park.
If this keeps up, it's going to be harder for realtors (or realtor, singular, meaning MetroPro) to make the pitch that, when it comes to Hyde Park, it's either "the golden rectangle" or the wilderness. With the rare exception of the new Z&H location, what little action there is in the area is either well to the north -- Istria's second, Cornell location at the Hyde Park Art Center is doing very well -- or south, where Robust Coffee Lounge is taking on Woodlawn. With Florian already gone, an empty space under the Metra tracks at 57th and Lake Park Avenue will make two conspicuous holes in one prominent block in the heart of Hyde Park.
We'd love to know what went wrong. Streams of people pour out of the Metra station at regular intervals all day long, walking right past Istria's front doors. Neighborhood folks go out of their way to grab a seat. Was it poor management? Bad luck? Or simply not enough traffic?
Perhaps locals may find consolation in the fact that Morsbach's Medici Bakery, ever the trend-setter, is now offering cupcakes.
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.