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Northcenter Family Cafe Shutters its Doors

Local parents looking for a family-friendly venue for coffee and kids' fun will have to keep looking. A three-year old cafe is closing today in Northcenter.

After more than three years in business, a Northcenter family-friendly coffee haven is shuttering its doors.

Family Grounds Cafe, 3652 N. Lincoln Ave., is closed for good as of today, Dec. 21. The coffee shop, which featured one sound-proofed, kid-friendly zone, and one cafe area for adults, opened in August 2009.

"It's because of a lot of different factors," said employee Leeanna Kevan, 21. "The owners have put a lot of time into this. But it got to the point, I think, where we all needed to move on."

Husband and wife duo John and Brady TenBrink opened the cafe because of their combined love for coffee and their children, Kevan said. 

According to the website:

"In 2005, we experienced an awkward cafe moment—the dreaded 'you’re-disturbing-my-peace-please-remove-your-kids' stare," the website said.

"Not only did standing in line ordering seem uncomfortable, but trying to fit in a laptop jungle while getting dirty looks had us gulping down our cappuccinos. And our daughter, well, she acted like any normal, incredibly curious 2-year-old. Spilling the orange juice just seemed too much. Knowing we had another child on the way, we walked home thinking there had to be an alternative."

Parents and caretakers often flocked to Family Grounds. Some, who were there on Wednesday, dreaded the closure.

"This is actually where I interviewed for my job and it's where I met him for the first time" said nanny Jennifer Fagan, while at the cafe with 18-month-old Simon. "I think we're all a little nostalgic." 

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