Café 1610 plans to close and ‘start over’ at the end of May

Café 1610 will be closing, for now, at the end of May.
Café 1610 will be closing, for now, at the end of May.

Credit: Staff

Credit: Staff

In a video announcement on the Café 1610 Facebook, co-owner Molly Blackshear made the sudden announcement that Dayton’s only all-vegan restaurant is closing — for now.

May will be Café 1610′s last month operating in its 521 Wayne Ave. location that opened in September 2020. However, Blackshear assured the business would not be closed permanently. Instead, she said they would be relocating, rebranding and “starting pretty much over in a sense.”

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“We just wanted to let everybody know because I feel like it’s fair and we want to show our appreciation to our customers that have supported us through these months of COVID and everything else,” Blackshear said. “Dayton has been very supportive, and it’s also shown how much we were needed in the community.”

In this last month of service, Café 1610 will only be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and for brunch hours only — 11 a.m. until about 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. Some non-brunch dishes will still be available until supplies run out, according to the Facebook video.

“It’s a pretty big deal, pretty big steps that we’re taking,” Blackshear said. “We’ll be kind of starting over again. Taking a leap of faith, relocating, rebranding. … We need time to kind of regroup. It’s been a really long journey (and) it’s been really trying, actually, with some of the things that happened within the group, the organization. But all in all, it’s been great.”

Blackshear told the cafe’s followers they are in the process of looking at potential new spaces to relocate, and that a new space could be found “shortly.”

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“We started with a four-month lease to see if it was a viable enterprise and when we discovered that it was we re-upped for another 4 months, and that lease is up at the end of May,” said Café 1610 co-founder, Cathy Mong. “The owner of the building and the operator of Glasz Bleu Oven told us he most likely would begin cooking in May and wasn’t sure we could keep a vegan kitchen. Since that’s of the utmost importance to us and our customers, we decided not to take a chance with cross-contamination,”

In the meantime, Mong said she and Blackshear, who is also Mong’s daughter, will take the time to “chill and re-brand, work on a delicious new menu and get a better idea of what we are looking to do as Dayton’s first and only all-vegan restaurant.”

“We have enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people who have reinforced our belief that Dayton was overdue in having a vegan restaurant,” Mong said. “We look forward to a grand reopening celebration and will keep everyone informed on social media. Until then, thank you Miami Valley for supporting us.”