Until last weekend, there’d been a coffee shop at 325 Chestnut St. in Old City since 1962.
Mrs. K’s — a retro destination among breakfast-seekers as well as late-night clubgoers at its twin U-shaped Formica counters — has closed, per a sign on the front door signed by Nancy and Nouman Shubbar, who have owned the business since 2012.
“Thank you to all of our customers for their patronage. It has been our pleasure to serve you and get to know you. Many of you have become like ‘family’ just like the TV show ‘Cheers.’ It was always a welcome sight to see you come in. Unfortunately, circumstances have changed and we will no longer [be] able to enjoy each other’s company. Best wishes to each and every one of you. Thank you for the memories.”
The Shubbars have not returned my message seeking elaboration.
The coffee shop, across from Independence National Historical Park and sandwiched between Cosi and Buddakan, opened as the Mall Coffee Shop. John F. Kennedy was in the White House, James Tate had just been sworn in as Philadelphia’s mayor, and the Phillies finished in seventh place.
The Mall took the name Mrs. K’s in 1988 when Jerry Kahrilas bought it. It changed hands twice before Nouman Shubbar — a police officer — bought it with his brother, a pharmacist.
The closing may have been a foregone conclusion. Nouman Shubbar told Philly.com in December 2015: “This building is being sold, and my lease is up in 2017, so I don’t know what the new landlords will do. The place has been here so long – I hope they let us stay.”