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'Kind of a Bummer': Tangletown Caribou's Staff and Customers Lament Closure

The staff and customers of the Tangletown Caribou on 53rd Street and Lyndale Avenue prepare for the store's Sunday closure.

With the Tangletown Caribou Coffee shop closing on Sunday, the store's staff and patrons are dispirited as they contemplate a caffeine-free corner of 53rd Street and Lyndale Avenue.

Star Tribune columnist James Lileks asked a Caribou clerk about his post-Sunday plans.

“Look for a job,” he replied with a shrug. “It’s kind of a bummer.”

The 5309 Lyndale Av. S. coffee shop is one of three Caribous to close in Minnesota and of more than 150 across the nation.

Lileks, a Southwest Minneapolis resident, had an extra-journalistic interest in the demise of his neighborhood coffee shop, he wrote in his column.

"I like it because it’s A) closer than Starbucks, and B) it is not Starbucks," he wrote. "You imagine a hole in the neighborhood, and even though it’ll be filled with a store that sells gluten-free pet snacks or six-buck cupcakes, it won’t be the same. Oh, where will we go for coffee now?"

Lileks attributed the closure to competition and the table-campers, customers "soaking up the free Wi-Fi, which we expect as our birthright."

Other Southwest Minneapolis residents took to Twitter to complain about the closure.

"Don't close the one at 53rd + Lyndale!" one customer wrote. "Always had the friendliest, most thoughtful employees!"

"Some will think my devastated reaction is silly cause its not a local shop but it is at my bus stop so its local to me," wrote another.

On Tuesday, Caribou issued a statement about Twin Cities Caribous, attributed to CEO Mike Tattersfield:

Caribou has made the strategic decision to maintain operations in key markets where we see the most potential for continued long-term growth for the company and where we feel we can renew our focus and provide guests with an enhanced Caribou experience. Out of the 201 Greater Twin Cities Caribou coffeehouses, we will only be closing three locations and do not have plans to transition any of our Minnesota locations to Peet’s.

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