‘It Was a Great Party': Claire de Lune Coffee Closes in North Park

Monday was the final day for the neighborhood staple

After 19 years of keeping North Park caffeinated, Claire de Lune Coffee Lounge closed up shop, owner Claire Magner announced Sunday.

Monday was the last time customers could grab a latte or cappuccino at the neighborhood staple, which Magner opened in 1997 near the North Park sign on University Avenue. 

"I was a data entry operator that decided to open up a coffee house, and I don't drink coffee," she told NBC 7. "And my first year in 1997, I won an Orchid for best interior design, and it put me on the map!"

She envisioned the distinctive building, with its bright yellow interior and muted yellow exterior, as a place where people could feel at home while getting a cup of coffee.

"I could throw a great party," said Magner. "So I used my philosophy of throwing a party for building my coffee shop, and let me tell you, it was a great party and it lasted 19 years."

But as she entered 2016, she realized the party had to stop. The rising cost of doing business, from taxes to new wages, became too much, and she decided to shutter her shop. She told San Diego Magazine that she has been pouring $1,500 a month into her lounge to keep it afloat.

The decision was made with her 11-year-old daughter in mind.

In her farewell post on Facebook, Magner wrote: "To Our Loyal Customers, we say 'Thank You With All Our Hearts'... because of your LOYALTY we have attempted to continue our business philosophy of 'being equally as loyal'..."

Magner still owns the building, so she is now looking for a new tenant for the 2,500-square-foot coffee shop space.

However, she is mourning the loss of a business that does not revolve around alcohol in North Park. Customer Raechelle Dow agreed.

"It's kind of nice to have a place like this where you can come alternatively instead of drinking alcohol, be able to have coffee, socialize, rather than the bar scene. It's kind of sad to see a place like that gone," she said.

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