LINCOLN SQUARE — As a tribute to Café Selmarie’s founders, the restaurant is featuring a special menu this week.
Jeanne Uzdawinis and Birgit Kobayashi opened Café Selmarie back in 1983.
“They were both 29 when they started this business,” said Connie Kobayashi, the restaurant’s general manager and daughter of one of the co-founders. “They were both so young and they built it into this institution that still exists today.”
When Uzdawinis and Birgit Kobayashi first opened the café it was located at 2327 W. Giddings St. And because they were both bakers, Café Selmarie initially focused on selling fresh-made pastries.
“Lincoln Square was quite a bit sleepier back then,” Connie Kobayashi said.
As the business became more popular the menu was expanded beyond pastries and by 1989 Uzdawinis and Birgit Kobayashi had added additional seating to accommodate diners at their first location. Then in 1999 Café Selmarie moved to its current location at 4729 N. Lincoln Ave.
“It’s so nice to be on the plaza and not the street,” Connie Kobayashi said. “It’s really accessible for families to come to eat and the kids can play in the plaza while they wait for their food.”
Last year, Uzdawinis passed away from ovarian cancer. The neighborhood mourned her death and remembered her as having “grace and artistry” as well as being the very “heart of Lincoln Square.”
As a way to remember her, Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th) had a few blocks on Giddings Street near where the cafe was originally located designated as “Jeanne Uzdawinis Way” back in August.
And for the rest of this week Café Selmarie’s anniversary celebration will include a raffle for various levels of prizes, discounts on newly minted Selmarie Café Selmarie merchandise and a nightly prix fixe dinner menu.
The $35 three course, prix fixe menu features a starter, entrée and plated dessert. For more information about their cafeselmarie.com or call 773-989-5595.
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