By Hanh Truong
The Sacramento Bee
January 26, 2024
In a move that’s been brewing for a while, a popular downtown Sacramento coffee shop is closing its doors.
Considered a Capitol fixture due to its proximity to the state Capitol, Chicory Coffee & Tea is closing at 1131 11th St. on Feb. 1, according to a sign posted on the shop’s door.
The sign was put up on Tuesday, Chey Adams, one of the cafe’s managers, told The Sacramento Bee.
“It’s pretty heartbreaking, honestly,” said Adams, who started working at Chicory Coffee in November. “A lot of people rely on us for their lunch breaks and for their early morning shifts.”
Chicory Coffee & Tea opened in 2005 and became a hot spot for Capitol gossip and shop talk among legislators and lobbyists. The business also housed political events in its side room.
State workers valued Chicory Coffee as a meeting spot.
“We’ve always been known for that,” said Christopher Garcia, the general manager at Chicory Coffee. “If anyone needs to have a private meeting, they know exactly where to go.”
Along with conversation, the coffeehouse offers coffee, tea, soups, sandwiches and pastries.
SACRAMENTO COFFEE SHOP HURT BY COVID-19, CONSTRUCTION
In 2020, Chicory Coffee went on a two-and-a-half-year hiatus as the coronavirus pandemic led to remote work and reduced foot traffic downtown.
“If there is nobody around, what’s the point of opening?” Garcia asked The Bee in August 2022 when the business reopened. “There’s no money to be made.”
Coffee shop owner Sheron Landis also owns the building it sits in, so there weren’t concerns about rent payments or the risk of eviction, The Bee reported at the time.
However, business failed to pick up despite fewer coronavirus restrictions and the return of state workers to downtown, Garcia told The Bee on Wednesday morning.
“Since COVID, we honestly haven’t been making a profit at all,” said Garcia, who’s been with the coffee house for 15 years. “There’s some days where it’ll be super busy and, some days, super slow.”
Nearby construction at the Capitol has also had a “massive impact” on the shop, he said.
Crews are working on the highly-debated annex project.
“Some days they’ll close off the crosswalks so people can’t get to us, so they’ll go to Starbucks because it’s (at) the next crosswalk,” Garcia said.
Many state workers have hybrid schedules, meaning they have the option to work remotely and don’t often need to stop by for a quick cup of coffee.
CHICORY COFFEE CUSTOMERS REACT TO NEWS OF CLOSURE
Since news of Chicory Coffee’s closure broke, reactions have been pouring in online and in person.
“We’ve just had a surplus of customers coming in and being like, ‘Oh my gosh, I came down from my job because you guys are closing and I’ve been here for 10 years,’” Adams said. “A bunch of people are coming in to say bye. It’s actually really sweet.”
In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Nikki Paschal called the closure an “end of an era for sure.”
“NOOOOOOO,” one Reddit user commented in a Reddit thread about the closure.
WHEN DOWNTOWN BUSINESS WILL SHUT ITS DOORS?
Chicory Coffee & Tea will continue to serve customers until its final day on Feb. 1.
The business is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon on Friday.