Junction Coffee & Frozen Yogurt, one of Belleville’s only downtown coffee shops, closed Sunday after five years of business.
“Thank you Belleville for five crazy fun years on Main Street!” the cafe team wrote on its Facebook page on Sept. 21, just four days before it shut down. “We feel blessed for the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people.”
Reaction to the announcement was swift, severe and sad.
“How sad,” Liz Keeley-Krummrich wrote on Facebook. “You had become a local spot in the neighborhood. You have added to the Belleville community.”
“Sunday will be a very sad day, indeed,” Chad McCullough wrote. “We moved to Belleville just over two years ago and immediately fell in love with Junction. I’ve spent many lunches there with my laptop and drinking coffee, often too much.”
“My son and I are going to miss our Saturday morning trips (and his bowl of gummies),” wrote Elizabeth Skaer Shaw. “I don’t know how to break it to him that you won’t be there after this weekend. Best of luck in the future!”
Junction’s departure was a long time coming. In February, the Belleville City Council approved plans by developers to change the space, along with the former location of a Quiznos sandwich shop, into Double Barrel, a casual-dining restaurant.
The name, however, will likely change in the future, according to building co-owner Mark Eichholz. “Double Barrel” is already copyrighted.
Eichholz, who co-owns the building with his wife Renae and son Brett, said he wanted to try his hand in restaurants because they were challenging.
Eichholz said the restaurant will seat approximately 150 people, and that it will also incorporate two spaces located on the first floor. The tenants have been relocated to the third floor, he said.
MRB Development LLC outlined in February that it will spend at least $400,000 renovating the space. The restaurant was eligible for $12,150 in tax incentives if it created five full-time jobs in its first year and “do at least $500,000 in sales subject to sales taxes,” according to previous reporting.
On Monday afternoon, however, Eichholz said the restaurant would forgo the tax incentive because he and the other co-owners did not want to appear as though they were getting an advantage over other establishments.
Junction Coffee had been searching for a new place to move, according to the cafe’s Facebook page, but its development plan stalled.