Lotus Leaf Cafe, a healthy-eating restaurant at 251 N. Washington in Old Town, has closed, owner Jackie Keefer confirmed on Wednesday.
The restaurant’s last day in business was Tuesday. Keefer posted a sign on the door announcing the closing. Contacted on Wednesday afternoon, she said that she wasn’t ready to talk yet and was working on crafting a statement, which she later posted on the restaurant’s website.
“The decision to close has not been an easy one, and it’s primarily due to the economic challenges that we, like many businesses, have faced,” she wrote. “We want to express our deepest gratitude to all of you for being a part of our journey.”
In a phone interview on Thursday, Keefer said that October was the worst month the restaurant had ever experienced. Rising food costs were the main culprit.
“I was starting to worry already about the middle of October, and it always slows down every year around this time — that’s a given,” she said. “But I wasn’t prepared for it being the worst month that we’ve ever had.”
Other restaurateurs she’s talked to are having similar experiences, said Keefer, adding that she was working open to close seven days a week.
When it began to look like she may not be able to meet payroll, she decided it was time to close the doors.
“It’s hard to let go, and I fought it and fought it and fought it,” she said.
Keefer first opened her restaurant at 613 W. Douglas in Delano in 2010 before moving it to Old Town in 2014. The restaurant served healthy foods made with all-natural, non-GMO ingredients. Stay tuned for updates.