NORTH CENTER — Cafe 28 closed its doors for good after brunch Sunday.
The restaurant, 1800 W. Irving Park Road, posted the following message to its Facebook page: "With much regret after 17 years we will be closing our doors this weekend after Brunch on Sunday, February 24. We sincerely thank you for all your love and support, and for being part of the Café 28 family."
When Berta Nazarro and Rick Miranda opened the restaurant 17 years ago, it was small with only 9 to 11 tables, and only served breakfast and lunch. Gradually, they added other rooms, a bar and a patio, said Ardit Dizdari, who's been working at the restaurant as a bartender for eight years.
Cafe 28 had been having money troubles and decided the revenue wasn't enough to pay off debts, including owed taxes, he said. They'd lost their liquor license recently, and increasing competition caused a decrease in weekday business, Dizdari said.
"Everyone is sad," he said. "We've gone to each other's weddings—it is like family. ...It's always been good. This year has just been the final nails in the coffin."
The hope is that owners will be able to raise money to reconcept or relocate, but nothing is set yet.
Cafe 28 will be open for dinner Saturday, 5:30 - 10:30 p.m. and brunch Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.