After temporarily closing all locations for almost two months in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Espresso Royale Coffee has announced all business will permanently cease, including branch operations, catering and online sales.
“Some would say that a company that goes out of business has failed; we don’t think so,” their website said. “Since 1987, Espresso Royale has served excellent coffee to millions of customers, has provided good work for thousands of people, and has purchased millions of dollars of goods and services from businesses around the country. We think that’s a success.”
LSA sophomore Lucianna Rosania said she was surprised the company was closing, especially since the coffee shop has been around for most of her childhood.
“I was totally shocked when I found out it was closing,” Rosania said. “It hit a lot as an Ann Arbor native because I’ve been going there since I was 6 years old, and my dad is a professor at U of M so I have very fond memories of those locations.”
Besides being integral in the Ann Arbor community, Espresso Royale has also been a long-time campus staple. It was even voted Best Coffee Shop in Ann Arbor in 2014.
Engineering sophomore Zach Eichenberger noted Espresso Royale had a special ambiance that made it better than other coffee shops.
“I always loved going to Espresso Royale,” Eichenberger said. “The atmosphere was really chill. It stood out from all the Starbucks and other (places) because it had more of a cozy atmosphere. It was more personal.”
Conveniently having multiple locations on campus, the University of Michigan community could often be found holding meet ups and doing homework while sipping a cup of coffee. For LSA sophomore Dominic Coletti, the Espresso Royale on South State Street and South University Avenue was a frequent place to visit both for quality coffee and a place to study.
“I would always go there before all of my exams and just grab a small, hazelnut coffee because their hazelnut was the best out of anybody that I could find,” Coletti said. “I also lived in East Quad, so that was a pretty popular place to go and study for people that just needed to get out of the building but didn’t want to go too far, especially on cold, winter days.”
After the COVID-19 pandemic struck, classes moved online and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order took into effect, many local businesses set up GoFundMe pages to stay afloat. Many businesses told The Daily they question the future of the local economy and the possibility of reopening. Unfortunately as the pandemic dragged on, Espresso Royale noted “it became impossible for our company to remain viable.”
Eichenberger said he thinks the absence of the campus community played a large part in Espresso Royale’s closing and noted the misfortune of the loss of the coffee shop.
“Their main source is probably college students, professors, and with everything going online they’re not going to have those people,” Eichenberger said. “I think the University (community) is losing something really special by losing Espresso Royale.”
Summer Managing News Editor Francesca Duong can be reached at email@example.com