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Cafe Marie-Jeanne
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Beloved Chicago restaurant Café Marie-Jeanne is closing for good

A fond farewell to the coziest French eatery in town.

By
Morgan Olsen
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Humboldt Park staple Café Marie-Jeanne will permanently close on Monday, November 23 after almost five years in the neighborhood. "We have to tell you. The string has run out for CMJ. We hung in as long as we could and it’s time to let go," reads an Instagram post that was shared on Thursday night.

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Husband-and-wife co-owners Michael Simmons and Valerie Szafranski opened Café Marie-Jeanne in early 2016. Despite its relatively short lifespan, the effortlessly cool and cozy French hangout managed to reach institution status in record time. It's the kind of place that you'd swear had been there for decades, even though it was just coming up on its five-year anniversary.

In the morning, the kitchen cranked out customizable breakfast sandwiches, caviar toast and sautéed calf brains. Come evening, couples and groups filled the no-frills dining room for duck frites, blackboard specials and bottles of wine.

Hoping to say goodbye? There's still time—Café Marie-Jeanne will remain open until Monday, November 23. "Come say hi, get one last cheeseburger, see what fun [Café Marie-Jeanne] classics we have on special, and make a deal on a bunch of wine," reads the farewell message. "We will be here and ready to sell you just about anything." 

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