Merle’s Coffee Shoppe Closed

By Mike Fourcher | Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Merle's Coffee Shoppe closed for good last Saturday. (click to enlarge) Credit: Mike Fourcher.

Last weekend, without fanfare, Merle’s Coffee Shoppe, 4642 N. Francisco Ave., closed for good. Just two weeks ago the Ravenswood Manor bulwark was hosting their annual Easter egg hunt.

The coffee shop was owned by husband and wife Jeff Scoughton and his mother Virginia, who also ran a catering business. Many locals will remember the shop for its warm atmosphere, oversized cookies and habit of blasting “Eric & Kathy In The Morning” over outdoor speakers facing the Francisco El Stop.

Neighbor and Manor Neighbors organizer Michael Herman had heard rumblings of the shop’s troubles since the 2008 Brown Line Reconstruction project and was not surprised they closed. “They never really recovered after the train station closing.”

Merle's Coffee Shoppe closed last Saturday. Credit: Mike Fourcher.

“Supposedly, the CTA had promised some support to those businesses [near the El stop], that were negatively impacted during the rebuilding. Not sure if those payments got made,” said Herman.

The store’s website is still up, while calls to the posted phone number go directly to voice mail. Efforts to contact Scoughton via phone and email were not responded to by publication.

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