18 June 2008

Kaldis End of an Era

Just as the history of the Country can be said to go through eras, so can a neighborhood. OTR eras could be marked by it's immigrants, German, Appalachian, Black, Activists, Bohemians etc... or maybe the divisions could be original construction in the nineteenth century , to a growing population into the 20th century, then a slow but steady decline after the wars, resulting in large government plans for urban renewal in the 60's. Then there was the period when activist or grassroots social movements of the 70s and 80s dominated the neighborhood. Kaldis was the center of a phase, which was concentrated on Main Street rehab apartments, nightclubs and art galleries in the 1990's ending in the 2001 riots.

Now it happens that the next era of OTR, what I'll term, the era of Condos, is pushing Kaldis out. The building they lease is about to be renovated into condos, and the elevator must eliminate the Kaldis kitchen (what little of a kitchen they had) and thus Kaldis is looking to move, probably out of OTR. I suppose the Coffee Emporium has already replaced Kaldis as a non-bar coffehouse hang-out, a so-called third place, but I still think the neighborhood needs more places like the original Kaldis, ...a place with long hours and a casual atmosphere not dominated by alcohol.

What will fill this void?

13 comments:

Julie said...
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morris tsai said...

It's sad to hear that Kaldi's is needing to move, but it hasn't been the same Kaldi's for a long time now. It was a great place before the riots. It kind of ended for me when they started shutting down the coffee side at night.

CityKin said...

I totally agree. It evolved from coffeehouse to bar.

Julie said...

Very sad. Coffee Emporium doesn't stay open late enough, and Kaldi's was still a little bit gritty, but good.

morris tsai said...

Yeah, I wish Coffee Emporium was open later. I'd love to have a place to grab a coffee and a dessert.

VisuaLingual said...

Kaldi's does have a bar vibe, but it manages to serve a lot of functions to different kinds of people at different times of the day. As a bar, it's less loud and rowdy than some of the others in the srea. Coffee Emporium is a great daytime spot but has no evening hours. I hope that Kaldi's finds another local space, or that some other place fills the void. But maybe the era of condos is simply moving the neighborhood toward specialty shopping and away from the low-entry point experience of a place like Kaldi's.

justforview said...

If Kaldi's is a third place for the era of bohemians, or the social activist phase, then the third place for the era of condos would probably look a lot like most cities that have gone this route. I know this has come up before, still the obvious answer is...

Starbucks

Jason said...

I don't really think we should be so quick to blame the recent boom of condos in the area for the fall of places like Kaldi's. In fact, I highly doubt it has anything to do with it. As mentioned above, Kaldi's has been a very different place from its "glory days" ever since the riots scared everyone out of the Main St. district.
Things that happened before the current owner even bought the place had already set in motion this decline. I know of a lot of these things from friends of mine that worked there at the time.
However, I don't think all is lost. I think they should try their hardest to stay around, preferably in the same building. Even it if means they can't serve meals, they can still be a cool coffee and drinks hang-out. It would be wonderful to see the other side being used again. I also believe that in the next few years as more and more people continue to move downtown the area is going to pick up again.
Hopefully the current owner and patrons can remain positive and hope for the best.

Melanie said...

We were at Kaldi's last weekend, and the bartender told us that there were looking at some spaces on Main St.

Anonymous said...

I heard they want to move to Findlay Market. Kaldis is too expensive for it's gritty atmosphere. I used to go to Kaldi's all the time but to be honest I don't like walking past the guys that hang out at the market a few doors down.

CityKin said...

Jason,
I'm not blaming, I'm just making stream of consious connections. Neighborhoods go through phases and generations. Kaldis may be reborn, but this seems as good as any event to mark a shift.

Tony said...

Hi,
My name is Tony.
I own the Coffee Emporium. And believe me we are looking to have longer hours. we will never be a bar. Kaldis is a great place. But we must all evolve and reinvent ourselves over and over.

We were open as a venue for both Fringe Festival and Mid Point. We are definitely looking to have more extended hours especially Sundays. Thanks for your support!!

Julie said...

Tony, I would love love LOVE to be able to go to CE on Sunday morning for coffee and the newspaper and breakfast. Keep us posted as to when you might be adding Sunday hours!