Beloved Cafe to close after 40 years of business
Café Selmarie, a beloved fixture in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood for four decades, is set to close its doors in early 2024. Owner Birgit Kobayashi announced her retirement plans on Wednesday, citing a desire to embark on a new chapter in her life.
The café, located at 4729 N. Lincoln Ave., has been a cherished gathering place for countless locals and visitors alike, serving up delectable cuisine and fostering a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Kobayashi, along with co-founder Jeanne Uzdawinis, opened Café Selmarie in September 1983, inspired by their shared passion for creating a cozy, neighborhood haven.
Over the years, Café Selmarie has become synonymous with mouthwatering pastries, cakes, tortes, and pies, attracting loyal patrons with its delectable treats. Weekend brunches have also been a staple, drawing in crowds eager to indulge in the café’s culinary delights.
As the café prepares for its bittersweet farewell, Kobayashi and her team are planning a celebration to honor its rich history and the dedicated staff who have contributed to its success. Classic menu favorites, such as the hazelnut cheesecake and apricot-hazelnut tartlets – the first pastries Kobayashi and Uzdawinis created for each other – will make a special reappearance during these final months.
While the closure of Café Selmarie marks the end of an era, it also serves as a testament to the enduring impact the café has had on the Lincoln Square community. Its legacy will undoubtedly live on in the hearts and memories of those who have cherished its warmth, hospitality, and culinary excellence.
Eatz Associates, a prominent restaurant brokerage firm, is handling the sale of Café Selmarie’s assets, which include the lease of the space, commercial kitchen equipment, and restaurant furnishings. However, the Café Selmarie name and recipes will not be part of the sale.