Famed campus cafe in UP Diliman to close down after 23 years

Published August 4, 2020, 2:51 PM

by Gabriela Baron

The Chocolate Kiss Cafe, a 23-year old restaurant located at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman campus, will permanently close due to the challenges brought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

(Photo courtesy of The Chocolate Kiss Cafe)

Owner Ina Flores broke the news on the cafe’s website: “The world was shook this year by the pandemic. Everyone is forced to face a new normal and navigate uncharted territories.”

“We will sorely miss taking part in UP Diliman’s annual activities. From the UP Fair to Lantern Parade festivities, orientation programs and college graduation rites. Our hours were always attuned to the academic calendar, in the same way that our hearts exploded with pride at every win of the UP Pep Squad and UP [Men’s Basketball Team],” Flores wrote.

The owner said the cafe always relied on “high volume” in sustaining its operations, and they had been incurring losses since the start of the enhanced community quarantine.

She added that the prospect of not being able to operate at full capacity for “an indeterminable period” led to her decision to close the cafe.

The Chocolate Kiss Cafe’s first branch opened in September 1997 on the second floor of Ang Bahay ng Alumni Building of UP Diliman.

The restaurant will still continue serving meals until August 23 for order and pick-up.

Meanwhile, retail store Common Room in Katipunan also announced its closure on its fifth anniversary.

“We sincerely believe, though, that the best way to celebrate its anniversary is to ensure that the community services this pandemic, even if it meant saying goodbye to the home that paved way for our other homes,” the Common Room wrote on Facebook.

The Common Room was a known landmark in Katipunan, with students from nearby universities and schools frequenting the store for its artworks and gifts.