Scarlet City Espresso announced the closure of their Adeline Street cafe on Sunday. “We are so grateful for the support of the community that welcomed us upon arrival and grew up around us,” they noted in a tearful Instagram post.
Founders Jen St. Hilaire and Susanna Handow opened the doors of their vintage sci-fi themed espresso bar back in 2014. The cafe was opened as a retail component to promote and grow St. Hilaire’s thriving roasting business.
Scarlet City were a bit of “pioneers” in the fledging neighborhood. They took a chance on an area where businesses proved difficult to sustain. They slowly expanded their offering to include draft beers, bites and created a destination pinball arcade.
They developed a community space that hosted science lectures, trivia events, live music, and book readings. Their business brought character and uniqueness to our city.
They opened their doors to the neighborhood during the massive Intersection Project fires while first responders battled around the clock to contain the historic blazes.
These fires and subsequent construction presented challenges to their business and others. Lack of parking turnover and enforcement were constant battles for them.
St. Hilaire and Handow expressed resolve with their decision, satisfaction with the success the cafe experienced and were thankful of the loyal customer base they curated. “Thank you for all of your support over the past (nearly) five years, for your engagement, for your friendship, and for being the Dilithium Crystals in the Warp Core that powered our Enterprise!”
St. Hilaire will continue her passion of roasting under the Scarlet City brand available at Berkeley Bowl West, Kitchentown and by subscription through scarletcityroasting.com. Susanna is looking to apply her creative energy to some new projects she’s lined up.
Scarlet City is working with a neighboring business to assume the remainder of their lease.
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