Monday, November 22, 2010

#69: Lula's Last Days

Recently, a reader of our blog, named Nicole, commented on our post about Lula's.  She said what I've always felt about that coffee house, and I hope she won't mind that I'm re-posting part of her comment here:

"I started going occasionally when I was in high school in the late 90s. After I got out of school, and after stints at the south side Studebagels and the Barnes and Noble cafe I started working here, worked 5 nights a week for a few years - loved my co-workers, loved the regulars, met my boyfriend here when I was working. Even now a little over 5 years after leaving I can walk in and always see someone I know. The few years I worked there I had so much fun, working or hanging out with co-workers, it very much felt like a family and Lula's has always had a feeling of community. Many have moved away but this is still the only job I've ever had where I kept in touch with so many of them, even if it is just Facebook. :) I loved making the hummus during prep work, it was always my favorite thing to do for some reason! Even the odd jobs we ended up doing as employees - fixing the front door, painting, planting flowers, re-covering cushions on chairs - it all made it feel like the place was our own. At least that's how I felt about it, and even though I don't work there anymore, I still do.

So many people have "their" place - this is mine. I've always been a bit of a cafe rat who frequents many places in town (most often the downtown ones out of convenience since I work down here now) but this is still it for me. My home away from home, I love everything about it."

For Nicole, myself, and many others like us, Lula's has been that comfortably bizarre and deliciously friendly local coffee house.  Every artist, feminist, poet, independent voter, professor, hippy, hipster, burn-out, [life-long] student, aspiring actress, writer, nerd, faux-foreigner, and pseudo-intellectual needs one; and I don't know anyone who would contest me in saying that Lula's has been just that for all of South Bend's outsiders, insiders, readers, music-makers, and appreciators of good coffee and even better atmosphere.  For almost 16 years, Lula's has been full of characters you expect to find in novels, not necessarily in Indiana, while serving damn good coffee and my favorite chicken, artichoke, and spinach wraps.

It's with a heavy heart and an empty coffee cup, that I tell you Lula's at 1631 Edison Road is nearing its end.  Because its lease will not be renewed, Lula's will be closing at this location on Wednesday, November 24th...just two days from now.  You have just over 48 hours left to bask in the glory of that eerie eye in the blue corner,  sit under the roman columns among palm trees, check your reflection in one of the mirrors on yellow wall, or respect the moon and star "Thank You for not Smoking" sign.

I strongly urge you, or rather insist that you do at least 2 out of 3 of the following:
- stop in during these last couple days and take a mental photo of this important place
- buy some of their extra goods (details below)
- frequent the new location, once it is found and opened (this last one is not optional)

In a recent email to Lula's supporters, the owner said that one way you can help is to do some food shopping at Lula's to clear out the inventory.  Here are some of the items you can buy between now and Wednesday:
  • $6/lb - Coffee
  • $8/lb - Espresso
  • $3.50 - Big bag of Zapp's chips (a classic Lula's side-dish)
  • $2.50/lb - Smoked Ham
  • $10 for 100 bags of Republic of Tea
  • $3 for 10 oz. - Honey Mustard
  • $5 per bottle of Monin Syrups
Don't you fear.  Lula's will find a new and equally wonderful location, but during these last few days here on Edison, stop by to appreciate the Lula's community that has flourished and grown over the last 16 years, not to mention the toasted brie sandwich.


  1. This is so sad. I didn't even get to try this place, but it sounds wonderful. I hope they don't move out farther into the suburbs, but stay close-in.

  2. Don't mind you using my comment at all. I found your blog when Main Street Coffee House posted a link to their entry here on Facebook, but Lula's always has my heart. You can probably expect to see me in there the next couple nights - I'm hard to miss. Purple hair. :)

  3. I just found your blog through the ND Observer. I might read it if it was more legible. What are you thinking? That background design totally hides the list of earlier posts and any other information you might have in your side bar. I hope you'll fix this, because it's an interesting concept.

  4. Also, do you know that your word verification information does not appear the first time one tries to comment, but instead gives a preview screen requiring a would-be commenter to wait and see the preview? You're probably discouraging comments that way.

  5. Kay, thanks for your suggestions! We're really glad you found the blog and hope you continue to follow us. We've played around with several different formats and will continue to do so, so that our blog will be the most easily viewable for our readers. As we do this, we will absolutely take your points into consideration!

  6. Just wanted to say that I really like your layout. Very cute and unique!

  7. I think you're doing an excellent job!

  8. Still waiting for that new location. Not holding my breath though.