One year after opening in a corner spot on Vanderbilt and Bergen in Prospect Heights, dessert speakeasy Spirited will be shutting its doors for good. The announcement came via an open letter from owner Kimberly Wetherell, who bid Prospect Heights farewell, and explained that she had accepted a buy-out from the building’s new owners, who purchased the century-plus building which housed Spirited in December 2014.
This announcement follows what was thought to simply be a temporary closure of Spirited, but Wetherell now explains that the closure will be permanent because “if we were to stay at this address, we would have to endure indefinite and disruptive construction, not to mention bear a considerable rent increase. And so, after prolonged negotiations with the new owners, we have accepted a buy-out of our lease, effective immediately.” However, for those that love and will miss Spirited’s booze-laden desserts, there may yet be some hope. Wetherell promises in her letter that “Spirited (the brand, the concept, the vision) is not dead” and says that while she will be going on a lengthy vacation “when all this wraps up… eventually, we’ll start looking for a new home in which to rebuild.”
This news shouldn’t come as a complete surprise: In January of this year, Wetherell started a GoFundMe campaign for Spirited, in order to get help to afford things like payroll and “securing long-term growth.” At the time, Wetherell said she was “already working on selling a portion of the company to investment partners.” There appears to be no word on what happened to that potential deal or to the money donated in January. But this may just be the final word on whether not it is still a viable business move to include the word “speakeasy” as a descriptor in your bar/restaurant, i.e. don’t.
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