Café Frais first opened its doors less than year ago and this past Tuesday its doors closed “effective immediately,” according to the eatery’s Facebook page.
Café Frais was a small café on the corner of Liberty and 23rd Street and diagonal from the Tavern, a popular bar for Allentown residents and Muhlenberg students. The Cafe also deleted its Facebook page around 10:45 pm on Tuesday, Sept. 11. Their full statement read: “It is with great sadness that I announce that Cafe Frais will be shutting its doors effective immediately. We have loved serving you all and appreciate your business and your time.”
Despite its short stay, Cafe Frais had an impact on some Muhlenberg students. Jen Cote ’19, explained how she would go every Sunday and sometimes two to three times a week. Cote spoke highly of their breakfasts and coffee and despite being surprised at its sudden closing, she understood how it happened with their high prices and long waits. The word on campus seems to be that Café Frais was just too expensive. Jordan Zanetti ’19 thought the prices just couldn’t compete with the easy access to meal plan options here on campus.
There is no information regarding the sale of the building, which also features a storage unit facility. The owner of CaféFrais, Jason Lund, also owned the storage center. It is unknown if the storage units are still available for rent.
Lund is a businessman from New York City who had big visions that never seemed to take off. He wanted to work with the Muhlenberg community to offer jobs to students. In a Weekly article regarding the cafe’s opening he discussed offering a delivery service which never ended up happening. Cafe Frais was also part of the iHeart Muhlenberg program where local businesses offer discounts to Muhlenberg students with a ‘Berg ID.
Most surveyed students seemed to be surprised about the closing but they understand how Café Frais has come to a close. Greg Shanahan ’21 said that he’s disappointed that another small business is closing, but again it comes down to price.
Whether or not Café Frais will be missed is difficult to say, but for many it’s passing could easily go unnoticed. Whether they just never went, like Zanetti and Shanahan or because they never knew it existed, like Aileen Bergin ‘22.