May 4, 2020 By Allie Griffin
A Long Island City children’s play space and cafe is closing permanently after struggling to stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic.
City Owlets play cafe, located at 10-42 Jackson Ave., closed on March 15 and will not reopen when the state permits nonessential businesses to do so.
The owner and founder Linda Nguyen said she has no choice but to permanently close the play cafe because of overhead expenses.
“At the end of the day, we are a small business with ridiculous overhead expenses,” she wrote in an announcement. “Unfortunately, we are not able to sustain operations to re-open and are faced with having to accept permanent closure of our brick and mortar location.”
The cafe, which opened in January 2017, offered a place for children 6 years and older to play, while parents and guardians sipped coffee and tea in the cafe space.
Nguyen called the decision to close “heartbreaking.”
“Like all of you, we wish this pandemic would end and we can return to our prior “normal”, but this is our new heart-breaking reality,” she wrote. “We can only reflect on the memories we’ve shared with all of you in our quaint playcafe and hope that you felt, for a moment in time, we tried our best to package fun and deliver it with love.”
City Owlets will still offer offsite event services for design, staging, catering and entertainment — as well as its classes at schools and daycares, Nguyen said in a statement to customers.