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Cafe Chiarini in Santa Ana Closes After Less Than a Year :-(

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Best new restaurant in DTSA that's not Playground =(



For those still mourning the loss of Royal Hawaiian in Laguna Beach (and their boozy lapu lapu drink), here's another unfortunate closure to add to the list.

Cafe Chiarini, the popular downtown Santa Ana lunch spot known for its spacious patio, inch-thick planks of sourdough bread and obscenely-gooey chocolate chip cookies, has closed after less than a year in business.

The restaurant, run by Judy Fleenor, Iliana Chiarini and Vicki Schrimmer, was a favorite of Downtown workers (myself included) who craved fresh and healthy in the sparse but ever-improving restaurant scene.

They were always busy, so why they closed is only up for speculation, but here's to hoping great restaurants don't go in threes.

Read more:
We profiled Fleenor and Chiarini for On the Line late last year.

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9 comments
Kelly OConnor
Kelly OConnor

This is a bit odd.  I personally stopped going because the bread is so hard you can crack a tooth on it and the prices are astronomical, but it's still a fantastic addition for downtown.  I know in the past they were talking about activating the outdoor oven to serve pizzas, so hopefully they're just taking the time to do that now. 

Grouchogal
Grouchogal

What a loss!  Their divine soups, delicious sandwiches, and remarkable bread were such treats.  Location an absolute gem in the downtown/civic center area.  Puh-leeze come back!

Asteaffens
Asteaffens

Say it ain't so --- please come back, Cafe Chiarini.

Señor Ben Dayhoe
Señor Ben Dayhoe

From what I've heard, Cafe Chiarini is ONLY going to be closed for a SHORT TIME while they implement some upgrades. Possibly a sandwich bazooka?

BEST WEDNESDAY EVER!

fluffatu
fluffatu

What the heck happened?! I was there two weeks ago and the line was out the door (I was smart enough to call my order in and able to walk to the front of the line, fastpass style!). I have a friend who was on jury duty and waited almost an hour for her food.

Always packed....always good....always friendly. I'm confused and heartbroken. Not anywhere else around that had sandwiches/salads/soups/bakery goods like it. Wah!

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

"...was a favorite of Downtown workers (myself included)..."

Now that they're gone, what's your backup plan? 

 

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