The curse of 1660 W. Broad St., which has claimed a large number of restaurants over the past 20 years, continues, as Eden's Cafe announced that it will close Dec. 22, meaning another small, local business is shuttering right before the holidays.
The cheery vegan eatery opened at the beginning of August and also operated a vending machine at That Bar downtown. A statement on Facebook read:
Eden’s Cafe will be Closed to the Public starting Dec 22, until further notice. Our current business model is not sustainable and as much as it breaks our hearts it is best for us to take time off to regroup and hopefully develop a more viable structure for the Eden’s Vegan Brand.
For the next two weeks, come visit us! The cafe will be open Tues-Sat 11-3 for soups and sandwiches! Also, we are offering a holiday menu to stock your freezers! Final day to place an order will be Dec. 18. Use the order form on our website to place your order or call the shop.
We are truly devastated to have such a short run. Heart centered intentions willed us into this grand experiment but now the financials are waking us up to make big changes. We are completely humbled by this journey and it has not been possible without your continued love and support. Please share this post to spread the news and as always thank you, thank you, thank you.
The website appears to be down at the moment, but you can see the menu of things to order on Facebook. Co-owner Nick Bradfield says that the inability to serve alcohol was one problem. He added, in a letter to Flagpole:
We are considering the switch to a private manufacturer's food license for wholesale production to keep the vending machine alive and possibly start catering for private events or farmer's markets but for the interim we can no longer afford to remain open to the public in current form come 2020. I'd like to thank all our customers who have supported us so far - It's been a real honor and a privilege to serve our community and although it has impoverished my bank account, it has richly rewarded my soul to share charity, fellowship and communion with my beloveds. I am forever in debt to Athens and my mentors like Seth Hendershot of the legendary local coffee bar, Mathew Epperson of the Georgia Co-Operative Development Center and Michael Myers of the UGA Small Business Development Center who have offered so much guidance in my pursuit of happiness and the search for my Ikigai [a Zen word which means 'a reason for being'].
Bradfield adds that he is "offering the business as a whole for sale or its assets to potential buyers interested in serving the vegan community, and I would also be open to discussing a relocation to a full-service restaurant and bar if we can find other investors who want to help form an expanded co-operative business structure."
In other news:
The first Athens-area (technically Oconee County) location of Newk's, previously reported on in June, will open in the same Epps Bridge Parkway shopping center as Trader Joe's on Dec. 16, with some soft-opening free food giveaways later this week. You can check its Facebook page for details.
An Athens location of El Azteca, the Atlanta chain, is soon to open next to Utage on Clayton Street, downtown.
Editor's note: A previous version of this post incorrectly identified the downtown El Azteca as a new location of a former Athens restaurant.