Coffee shop's closing felt around Madisonville

CINCINNATI -- A popular Madisonville coffee shop recently closed, and others in the up-and-coming neighborhood say they've been affected.

CooKoo's Coffee Shoppe on Whetsel Avenue closed for good on Sept. 29. In a letter to their customers, CooKoo's owners wrote that they struggled to stay open every since the shop was  robbed and broken into three times earlier this year.

"We don't like seeing our neighbors go away," said Jason Franz, the founding executive director of Manifest.

The whole community has felt the coffee shop's loss, according to Franz. Manifest, a nonprofit arts organization, sits just a few doors down from the Cookoo's closed shop.

"We were so thrilled when it opened because we could get coffee, our participants could get coffee," Franz said. 

Manifest even saw an increase of customers with Cookoo's next door.

"Those 4,000 people are going to be wondering now where to get their coffee," Franz said.

Businesses have been opening and closing in Madisonville, but Matt Strauss with the Madisonville Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation said there's a lot of interest in the neighborhood now.

Cookoo's closed because the owners had trouble keeping employees, and because of crime, according to Strauss. But, he said, crime is minor in the area.

"We're actually the fifth-safest of the 52 neighborhoods in the city, safer than some of the most active, soughtafter neighborhoods in the city," Strauss said.

Strauss is hoping the space left empty by Cookoo's will be filled quickly.

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