By AARON GETTINGER
Three businesses on the 53rd Street corridor — Einstein Bros Bagels, the Hyde Park Taco Station and Kimbark Laundry and Dry Cleaning — have closed in recent weeks.
Einstein Bros Bagels, a national chain based in the Denver suburbs, closed its Hyde Park location in Harper Court on Jan. 11. The Taco Station, which occupied the former Ribs ‘N’ Bibs site on Dorchester Avenue, has not been open in days, and a former employee said it had gone out of business as well.
Einstein Bros opened in November 2015; its corporate office did not return requests for comment in previous weeks when rumors of its demise circulated. Hyde Park Taco Station opened in April 2016; the Herald was unable to reach owner Edgar Vasquez for comment.
Kimbark Laundry closed in Kimbark Plaza last week. “Basically, we just feel like we got priced out of the neighborhood,” said owner Darryl Crawford, who cited wildly fluctuating tax and meter rates on utilities. The city has a 28 percent tax on water, he said, pointing out that its dozens of washers and dryers use natural gas as well as electricity. He also cited the rise in the minimum wage.
Crawford has transferred his business to a new location at 7118 S. Yates Blvd. in South Shore. “Basically, we’re going to be doing dry-cleaning, wash-and-fold and pick-up and delivery services,” he said.
Just one coin-operated laundromat — Harper & 53rd Launder Koin, 5230 S. Harper Ave. — still exists in Hyde Park. Crawford said the industry is in decline throughout Chicago.
Likewise, Maravillas, 5506 S. Lake Park Ave., and Chipotle, 1522 E. 53rd St., are now the only Mexican restaurants in Hyde Park, though recently opened Seoul Taco, 1321 E. 57th St., serves Korean–Mexican fusion, and the LSTC Refectory, 1100 E. 55th St., is known for its lunchtime taco specials.
Several area coffee shops serve bagels.