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Lakeview, Boystown, Wrigleyville

Emerald City Coffee Closes Lakeview Cafe Due To Pandemic; Uptown Store To Remain Open

A GoFundMe campaign was set up to support workers who lost their jobs with the cafe's closure.

Emerald City Coffee, 3938 N. Sheridan Road, could close at the end of the month if it doesn't raise enough funds.
Jake Wittich/Block Club Chicago
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LAKEVIEW — Emerald City Coffee has shut down its Lakeview cafe under the Sheridan Red Line stop after several months of lost income due to the pandemic.

Emerald City Coffee’s cozy storefront at 3938 N. Sheridan Road closed its doors for good earlier this month, according to a GoFundMe campaign raising money for staff affected by the cafe’s closure. The cafe had been open for 26 years.

Emerald City Coffee’s second location, which opened in 2016 at 1224 W. Wilson Ave. in Uptown, is expected to survive, employees said.

“The uncertainty of the pandemic and other financial stressors were too much to bear and we’re devastated to see ECC Sheridan go, but it’s the tough choice we had to make,” staff said in the online fundraiser.

As of Nov. 4, about $2,100 had been raised to cushion the blow employees who lost work because of the cafe’s closure.

“These amazing people have worked their tails off during the pandemic to keep us going,” an employee said on the fundraiser page. “All donations here will go directly to the affected baristas.”

The decision to close Emerald City’s Lakeview cafe came after a separate GoFundMe campaign that was raising money to keep the storefront open beyond October.

According to employees, the money raised from the first fundraiser will go toward Emerald City’s Uptown location, with some funds being given to affected employees.

“We truly can’t say this enough: Thank you for keeping our little shop going, for treating us with humility and kindness [and] for trying to support us in this final hour,” employees said in a statement.

Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.

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