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Beloved Queer Café Le Cagibi Is Closing

Pandemic lockdowns, a collapsed ceiling, and — mostly — an eviction notice prompted the closure announcement

people sitting in cafe Le Cagibi/Facebook

Vegetarian café and queer community space Le Cagibi has announced that it is permanently closing its doors this spring, citing eviction from its current Little Italy location as the primary reason.

Le Cagibi shared news of the closure on social media over the weekend, saying it would remain open for already-scheduled events in the upcoming weeks, but did not provide an exact closing date.

“These last years have been rough for Le Cagibi, for queer spaces and for social economy,” the statement posted to Le Cagibi’s Instagram and Facebook says. In it, the Le Cagibi team says repeated pandemic shutdowns, a collapsed ceiling, “and, mostly, the fact that we’re getting evicted from our space” prompted the decision.

Eater has reached out to Le Cagibi for details about the eviction, its last day of operation, and additional comment.

Le Cagibi has occupied the locale at 6596 St-Laurent Boulevard since 2018, after a steep rent hike from landlords — Jeremy Kornbluth and Brandon Shiller (son of realtor Stephen Shiller, of notorious Shiller Lavy) — forced it out of its former Mile End home. With the move, Le Cagibi morphed into a non-profit, worker-run co-op, and then during the pandemic, it added a boutique on-site, selling the creations of local queer and trans artists.

Still, it seems that wasn’t enough to keep the café afloat. “We have maintained this project, which was one of the last autonomous spaces to have survived the last two years, as long as we could,” the Le Cagibi team says.

Following the closure announcement, Le Cagibi posted about a mega dairy-themed variety show and dance party it’s hosting on April 22, noting that “Cagibi will sadly be closing next month, so let’s make this the BIGGEST PARTY EVER and give a memorable goodbye to our beloved local creative and social space.”

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