Young and Hungry

Love Café, R.I.P. (2003-2012)

The lingering cupcake craze appears to have suffered its first major casualty: Love Café, the lounge-y across-the-street counterpart to Warren Brown's pioneering U Street bakery Cake Love, is apparently shutting its doors later this month. "Love cafe was wonderful fun, but after 8 great years says adieu Jan 29!" owner Brown reports via Twitter. Another farewell note is posted on the sit-down cupcakery's Web site. Last spring, Y&H sat down with Brown to discuss how the District's cupcake-making pioneer was dealing with the sudden explosion of rival dessert makers bursting onto the scene. His one-time celebrity (you’d see his handsome, dreadlocked mug all over television, from The Oprah Winfrey Show to various Food Network programs) had seemed to fade amid all the attention given to other confectioners, particularly TLC network darlings Katherine Kallinis and Sophie LaMontagne, the gals at tourist-magnet Georgetown Cupcake. At the time, Brown seemed none too bitter about all the interlopers infringing on his sweets turf. Brown's original bakery, Cake Love, remains open for business. More details as they become available.

UPDATE: In an email to Washington Business Journal, Brown blames the impending closure on "increasing rents that the restaurant could not sustain."

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  • Another SE Resident

    That stinks. It's the competition in the cup cake trucks that are the downfall. Hey, how about you come over to put up a cafe here in South east? The Skyland Mall is calling on you. You'll make the money here in SE.

  • Graham

    I hate cupcakes and I loathe the craze that is cupcakes. But this was a great local spot with free wifi and coffee. I'll miss it.

    Did I mention that I hate cupcakes?

  • Another SE Resident

    @Graham, now that you mentioned it, I hate cupcakes too. It sucks. But I'll support a business in SE.

  • sgb

    This article makes a conclusion ("cupcake competition causes Love Cafe to close") that is complete bullshit. CakeLove didn't close, so you can still get cupcakes and slices of cake across the street from Love Cafe. Love Cafe was a nice little gem in the neighborhood though, probably a victim of U street's success cannibalizing on itself in the form of increased rent.

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  • um

    If they'd had later hours I'd have been more often. Oh well.

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  • cw

    Don't blame the cupcake newcomers. Love Cafe brought their own downfall by baking terrible, dried-out cupcakes.

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