HUMBOLDT PARK — Grandma J's Local Kitchen, a Humboldt Park restaurant that was the target of three separate acts of vandalism last year, has closed.
The brunch and lunch spot, 1552 N. Kedzie Ave., served its last customers Sunday, according to owner Layla Malia K.
"It's no secret owning your own business is hard work. And I have done the best I could," the owner wrote in a Facebook post. "I cannot financially keep this business open and running anymore by myself. I have a sweet little girl that relies on me to take care of her and she is my world."
The restaurant stayed open about a year longer than expected. In December, the owner told DNAinfo Chicago that Grandma J's would likely close at the end of 2015 due to a lack of business — not because of the repeat vandalism.
The owner didn't return a message late Sunday.
Originally from Hawaii, the owner opened the restaurant about five years ago as a way to spend time as much time with her daughter as possible. She frequently held kids arts classes and story time brunches in an effort to build community.
Despite her best efforts, the restaurant was vandalized three times last year.
In June an anonymous message was scrawled on the restaurant's window that read: "Get out of Humboldt Park / Don't gentrify us / We won't be Wicker Park."
The owner responded with a message of her own: "Come on kids really??? I have been living in Humboldt Park on and off for 20 years and am going on my 3 year anniversary for Grandma J's this Saturday .... And you choose now to tell me to get out ? Can't we all just get along ?"
The restaurant was vandalized again later that month when someone threw a brick through the window.
Then, in November, vandals once again broke in and stole an antique cash register that had just $1.25 inside.
Read the owner's full post below:
This post is going to be a hard one for me. It's typed with a very heavy heart. It saddens me to say this but this weekend will be the last of Grandma J's.
For almost 5 years I have worked hard at trying to bring a spot where family and friends can go and enjoy good food and even better, quality time with each other.
I have met so Many wonderful people through this adventure. People that not only have become close friends To Nova and me but also People who have become our family.
I have gotten to know people in my community that I may have never gotten to know and talk to before. So many amazing people in this small part of Chicago.
I've met people that have come in from all over the world, and have sat down at one of my thrift store tables drinking a cup of our strong coffee and telling me all kinds of stories. People I will never forget.
It's no secret owning your own business is hard work. And I have done the best I could. I cannot financially keep this business open and running anymore by myself. I have a sweet little girl that relies on me to take care of her and she is my world.
I want to thank my dad, Don Borling for his help in this project and although she's not here anymore my mom Jude Borling the lady my place was named after. Without their help and support I wouldn't of lasted as long as I did.
I also want to thank you all of you for your love and support. Without any of you there would never of been a Grandma J's. So thank you from Nova and I.
I want to thank the Staff that's still with me after all of the crazy times together. Man you all can wear many hats while your working. And I appreciate all of you.
So we will be open this Friday, Saturday and Sunday and then that will be a wrap.
Friday 10am to 3pm
Saturday and Sunday 9am- well let's see
This may be a good time to BYOB it!! Let's go out with a bang and have some closing fun!!
Much love to all of you❤️
Layla Malia K.
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