By Cristi McKee | Photo: Chi Chi’s Cafe
On Sunday, July 12, 2020, local Cuban cafe, Chi Chi’s Cafe, announced via Facebook that they would be closing their doors effective Monday, July 13, 2020, due to the “COVID storm.” The subsequent fallout of COVID-19, staffing challenges, delivery partner fees, and revenue drop are among some of the reasons that the owners, Rafael and Donna Diaz, made this decision.
The cafe opened at 460 West Tennessee Street in February of 2018, offering Tallahassee foodies their “Cuban fix.” Most known for their pastelitos, palomilla steak, medianoche sandwiches, and array of Cuban coffee drinks, Chi Chi’s faced several closures over the course of the last couple of months due to the pandemic. At this point, “it just seems like too many unknown variables, too many unclear directives/guidelines and ‘what ifs’ to take on further health and fiscal risks on ‘it might get better by 2021,” they admitted.
While it is currently unknown whether or not the cafe will re-open in the future, the Diaz family promises to keep their fans updated: “Please allow us a few days to process and grieve this all this with the family then we will keep you posted on Facebook & Instagram on any developments,” they said.
No matter what the future holds for the Diaz family and the cafe, they said, “We have truly been blessed.”