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Closings Wed Aug 10 2011
Earwax Cafe has closed again, and this time it's for good.
According to Metromix, the Wicker Park institution, which closed temporarily in February before getting a last-minute reprieve from former Landmark Grill chef Kurt Gutowski, did not open this weekend. A source tells the Wicker Park-Bucktown Insider's Guide that employees were informed of the closure last Wednesday. The cafe's published phone number has been disconnected; a sign on the door simply says "closed" and directs inquiries to the cafe's email address.
I stopped by this afternoon to check on the cafe, and spoke briefly with a real estate agent who was showing the property. She did not want to speak on the record, but confirmed that the cafe is closed and that the owner, Cindy Murray, is seeking tenants to take over the space. An email to the agent and Murray for more information has not yet received a reply. The Wicker Park/Bucktown RedEye blog reports that emplyee paychecks allegedly started bouncing back in June.
It's sad to see Earwax Cafe fade away. One of the few remaining vestiges of "Old" Wicker Park, it was key to lending the neighborhood its artsy feel. Vegetarian diners will no doubt find Native Foods Cafe, which opened last weekend just down the block, a suitable if more corporate substitute for Earwax's tasty veggie and vegan options -- but it feels a little like saying that fans of a favorite indie boutique will find Urban Outfitters an acceptable alternative.