Humboldt Park restaurant Cafe Marie Jeanne closing its doors due to Chicago coronavirus pandemic challenges

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Monday, November 23, 2020
Cafe Marie Jeanne closing in Humboldt Park
The Humboldt Park restaurant Cafe Marie Jeanne is closing its doors due to the Chicago coronavirus pandemic.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Cafe Marie-Jeanne in Humboldt Park will close its doors for good Monday, due to hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's devastating. It's unfortunate, because I know how hard they worked to get here, you know, it was crowdsourced and everything. To be able to be where they are," said loyal customer Gayle Kamberos.

"We're just people trying to figure out how to make it work and we did pretty good for a little bit," said Mike Simmons, co-owner of Cafe Marie-Jeanne. "We did the best we could under a terrible circumstance."

People waited in line for hours Sunday, waiting to pick up an order at the restaurant on Chicago's Northwest Side. At its peak, the line of customers stretched around the block.

This is a family-owned business; this is us," said another customer.

One person said he waited more than three hours just to make sure he got in one last order.

Days ago Cafe Marie Jeanne announced on social media it was closing for good. Its owners thanked customers for a great five years.

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The post said the restaurant "hung in as long as" it could.

And patrons said ever since that announcement, there have been long lines outside the beloved neighborhood cafe.

It's a place one customer called the soul and center of her neighborhood.

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"Cafe Marie Jeanne was sort of the heart of it all to me, sitting at the bar, having a glass of natural wine; everyone was so kind to you the whole time, walked you through the experience," Emily May said.

Customers said this is what made the spot on California Avenue and Augusta Boulevard so special.

"Go eat at your favorite restaurants like they're closing because they are," Simmons said.

The community-based French-inspired restaurant worked to make sure its high-quality cuisine was accessible to all customers.

Customers have one more day to say goodbye when the doors open fo the last time at 9 a.m. Monday.