Stay & Play Snack Cafe, a coffee shop catering to kids and parents
, is closing Saturday. The cafe at 405 E. Chapel Hill St. in downtown Durham opened about a year and a half ago, and offered a place where kids could play with toys, sip on organic juices and romp around while their parents recharged with a double espresso and a muffin.
According to a sign on the door, the owners planned to sell the business to one of their customers, but when it came time to transfer the lease, the building owners—Brass Buildings, LLC, whose officers are Merge Records' Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan—reportedly wanted to raise the rent. The cafe will sell its furniture and toys
That's not unexpected, considering that downtown is booming. Rue Cler
and Dashi, the ramen shop and sake bar
due to open next year, are in the same block as Stay & Play.
The cafe's sign said that the new owners could not find another space, which makes us wonder: Have they tried Lakewood? Space at the shopping center
is running $7.50 a square foot—well below downtown prices—for a storefront near the Scrap Exchange.