CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — It’s out with the old and in with the new, but maybe the old will find its way back. Espresso Royale in U of U’s Campustown is getting ready to shut down. The business has several spots in Central Illinois, but many say Daniel Street’s is unique.
It first opened in 1991. They announced a few days ago they’ll be closing, and a lot of people are sad to see them go. Nothing’s set in stone right now, but it’ll be part of a new development. That Daniel Street location was the first Espresso Royale in Champaign.
Espresso Royale did consider expanding into the space next to them for a while. That’s Campus Ink. They said the way the space is set up just wouldn’t work for their coffee shop.
They’ve been in talks with the owners of their building for several years. In March, they found out they’d have to close. A lot of people are coming forward saying they’ll be missed.
“Somebody Facebook messaged me the other day saying he and his wife had their first cup of coffee here like 25 years ago, and they’re still together, and they’re really sad to hear about it coming down. So a lot of stories like that we keep hearing over and over. The people working here like every day, customers come in and tell us stories like that,” said District Manager Douglas McCarver.
McCarver says the building has some structural issues. There have been problems with flooding in the past, especially in the basement area.
As far as the future of that spot, developers are planning on making it into a mixed-use space. The hope is that Espresso Royale will eventually be able to move into that development once it’s done.
The City of Champaign says they haven’t had any applications submitted for a development in that spot yet. The final day for Daniel Street’s shop is May 17th.
Some big things have started out at that location. The first graphics for the world wide web were created there. Marc Andreessen made them. They’re now called Netscape Navigator.