Cafe Laufer in Kaimuki to close at month’s end

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Another longtime fixture in Kaimuki is about to close.

Cafe Laufer announced Thursday that it is closing on Jan. 31 due to issues with the lease.

A letter posted at the counter reads: “Agreement between all partied did not work out. This past year has been a year of negotiations and the turn over to Melvin never took place.”

Chef Melvin Avecilla has been with the business for more than 17 years. He says the closure came as a surprise.

“We had talked about it, but nothing was finalized. I was kind of blindsided and shocked that people say that eight days, we’re closing,” he said. “A lot of people are confused, but I tell staff to explain to them what’s going on and apologize for the sudden closing.”

“We’ve been coming about once a month for last 11 years or so,” said customer Kathi Kreinik. “Since we moved into town, we do a movie at the Movie Museum and we come to lunch here, so we’re really disappointed to see it go.”

Avecilla says the closure will impact eight employees. He is currently in negotiations to open his own eatery in downtown Honolulu.

When asked what he’ll miss the most, Avecilla replied, “The customers, because after 17 years, they become like family and friends, all the memories that I have of course here. Seventeen years is a long time.”

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