Café Selmarie Celebrates Its 40th Year in Lincoln Square, Plans to Close in early 2024
CHICAGO, IL (Sept. 13, 2023) – Café Selmarie, a beloved restaurant and bakery in the Lincoln Square neighborhood that is celebrating its 40th anniversary this month, announced plans to close in early 2024. Owner Birgit Kobayashi will be retiring.
The café was founded by Birgit Kobayashi and Jeanne Uzdawinis, who met as neighbors on Giddings Street. In September 1983 they created Café Selmarie just down the street from where they lived with their families. They started out in a tiny storefront with a handful of tables serving pastries and coffee, breaking down walls in 1999 to eventually double its size. The café has been a staple on Giddings Plaza, at the heart of the Lincoln Square community. Long before coffee shops were prevalent, the café had the first espresso machine in the neighborhood.
“We were inspired by European cafés and coffee houses,” explained Kobayashi. “We wanted fresh food, made with the best ingredients, served in a warm and inviting setting.”
The Kobayashi’s intend to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Café Selmarie with a special three-course prix fixe dinner available Sept. 21-28, a cookie giveaway, and a “Selmarie Through the Years” photo exhibit in their dining room. They’ll also bring back some classic menu favorites like the hazelnut cheesecake and apricot-hazelnut tartlets, the first two pastries Jeanne & Birgit made for each other.
“We have loved being a part of the Lincoln Square community and watching it grow and flourish,” said Birgit Kobayashi, owner, Café Selmarie. “We will be celebrating Café Selmarie, our incredible staff, and being a part of Lincoln Square over the next several months. We are excited for the possibilities that this space holds for a new business and know the community will welcome them to the neighborhood.”
“Since my business partner Jeanne passed away in 2017 and long before that, my daughter and Café Selmarie General Manager, Connie has been my rock, my guide, my advisor, supporter, constructive critic, and captain of the ship. Despite having a truly wonderful staff, we find ourselves ready for that new chapter in our lives.”
“After cooking and baking for decades, it is time to sit down. I want to travel with my husband and have time to indulge in other interests. We have met so many wonderful people over the years and celebrated birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations with them. We witnessed this sleepy northside enclave blossom into the vibrant, lovely Lincoln Square neighborhood at our front door. We are forever thankful to our customers for their support through all these years,” said Kobayashi.
Kobayashi says this coming holiday season will be business as usual in the bakery with all of the customer favorites like Stollen, Linzer Torte, Yule Logs, and their famous Eggnog. Customers will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy celebratory meals in the dining room before the business wraps up in early 2024.
Eatz Associates, one of the nation’s largest restaurant brokers, is representing Café Selmarie in the sale of its assets, including the lease of the space, commercial kitchen equipment and restaurant furnishings. The Café Selmarie name and recipes will not be sold.
ABOUT Café Selmarie
The Café Selmarie dining room is simple and modern, displaying art from local artists, with large windows overlooking Giddings Plaza as well as al fresco dining on the shady patio. The location is at the heart of Lincoln Square. The café serves contemporary American cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Café Selmarie has been known for creating amazing comfort food and incredible bakery treats. Many families have celebrated special occasions with a special dinner, cake, torte, or pastry; the Café Selmarie cookies and pastries are as much a part of family traditions as are visits to the café. Café Selmarie’s name comes from the two founders’ middle names: Birgit Selma and Jeanne Marie.
For more information: https://cafeselmarie.com/. Instagram,Twitter, Facebook
Dinner reservations can be made on Tock www.exploretock.com/
Tuesday-Friday 10:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
CLOSED Sunday & Monday