After nearly four years in business, the Oak and the Iris Cafe in Windsor Terrace will be serving its final cup of coffee on Friday.
Rodrigo Hernandez, who runs the restaurant along with his wife, said their decision to close up shop was simply a product of slow business.
“It seems like the neighborhood needs something new," he said. "People are not coming as much as they used to, so I think they were ready to move on.”
Regular patrons of the cafe, located at 2826 Fort Hamilton Pkwy., won't have to move on too far, however. Another restaurant is slated to open in the space sometime in the coming months, and though Hernandez said he's unsure what specific fare the future eatery will serve, he did say that the new owners already run a successful establishment nearby, one that specializes in locally grown food.
As for its last day, all of the cafe's coffee and pastries will be steeply discounted, a sort of edible fire sale.
A sign posted in the door offers condolences to those longtime customers who will not be so easily appeased with marked-down muffins:
"There will be no funeral, no good riddance and fairway goodbyes are being held all week," the sign reads, along with a verse from the Book of Ecclesiastes and other assorted well-wishes to the community.
For his part, Hernandez isn't sure what he'll do next, though he said he's not worried—he and his wife have "business minds, so I'm sure we'll come up with a different idea," he said.
Which is not say he isn't disappointed about the untimely demise of the Oak and the Iris.
"I’m sad because we opened thinking that we would be here for 20 years," he said. "But it’s harder to see a slow day than just going off and doing something else.”
Editor's Note: The story was changed to reflect the fact that Rodrigo Hernandez runs the Oak and the Iris.