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Lakeview, Wrigleyville, Northalsted

Julius Meinl Closes Southport Avenue Coffee Shop After 20 Years

The Southport Avenue shop was the first Julius Meinl to open in the United States, according to the company. The Lakeview cafe closed Sept. 30.

Julius Meinl closed its Lakeview cafe at the corner of Southport Avenue and Addison Street.
Jake Wittich/Block Club Chicago
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LAKEVIEW — Traditional Vienna coffee roaster Julius Meinl has closed its Southport Corridor location after 20 years of business.

The coffee shop, which combined the experience of American cafes with Vienna’s coffee house traditions, closed the 3601 N. Southport Ave. location Sept. 30 after its lease was not renewed.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the Southport community,” said Thomas Meinl, who opened the cafe in 2002. “For over twenty years … we were part of this journey.”

The cafe is named after Julius Meinl, who set up the first coffee shop in 1862 in the center of Vienna, Austria. He sought to be one of the first companies to roast coffee at the shop because at the time, coffee was typically roasted at home on the kitchen stove and often burnt.

The company has since grown across Central Europe and Vienna, where Julius Meinl is the leading coffee roaster.

The Southport Avenue location was the first Julius Meinl to open in the United States, according to the company. Since then, it’s made more than 10 million cups of coffee, served thousands of customers and employed hundreds of servers, kitchen staff and pastry team members.

The company also operated a North Center location at Lincoln and Montrose avenues for 10 years before abruptly closing in 2017. Another location the company opened just a few blocks east on Montrose as well as its coffee bar in Streeterville also have closed.

“Thank you, Chicago, for your warm welcome, for believing in us and for your loyalty,” Meinl said.

Although the cafe is closed, neighbors can still shop Julius Meinl coffee online.

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