By Kimberly Baugh
After 21 years of famous vegan dishes and artsy atmosphere, Wicker Park’s infamous Earwax Cafe will be closing its doors tonight due to “financial issues.”
The Chicago Reader broke the news last week that the Wicker Park staple at 1561 N Milwaukee Ave. would be closing its doors for good. Almost immediately, a public outcry to save the restaurant was visible on the Facebook page. Numerous pleas to save the restaurant and even fan videos are plastered all along the page with hopes of salvaging a piece of history.
Loyola University Chicago alumnus Jeff Graupner, 23, has been working as a host for Earwax since July. “It’s really like a relic in this neighborhood in the era before Wicker Park became as popular as it is now,” he said.
Although all the details about the reasoning for the sudden closing are not known, Graupner described it as a “messy situation” that employees are not fully aware of. “We just found out last Saturday about it, so we were really surprised. We were just told that it’s mostly a financial issue,” said Graupner.
In the week following the news, the restaurant has been packed with lines out the door with customers trying to get their last fix of vegan friendly meals. Loyola students have also expressed their dismay at the Wicker Park staple coming to an end.
“It’s always difficult to find a place where vegans and carnivores alike could find a burger and shake, in that department Earwax was always an obvious choice. I’m really sad to see it go,” said Erin Pophal, 21, an international studies major.
On Saturday evening, customers were lined along the wall waiting for about an hour to snag a table. Condolences were being expressed to the upbeat staff, and many were taking pictures of the colorful walls and graffitied bathrooms.
“The environment, the co-workers, and the regulars were definitely the best part about working here,” said Graupner.
Breaking news by email. Subscribe free at: www.loyolastudentdispatch.wordpress.com
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/loyoladispatch
Friend us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Lou-Wolf/10000117524694
Get updates via SMS by texting : follow LoyolaDispatch to 40404