It was probably the most depressing news I’ve heard in awhile, at least when it comes to Hawaii’s restaurant scene.
My favorite sandwich shop, Mix Cafe, on Alakea Street in downtown is closing.
The rumors circulating pointed at Dec. 31, 2013 as its last day. But I wandered into the shop this morning — I was in downtown for an appointment — and found owner Bruno Iezzi behind the counter.
And yes, there were still sandwiches, too.
“I heard you were closing,” I told him.
“Ah, yes,” he replied. “You heard right.”
Turns out, Iezzi was supposed to close up at the end of last year. But the new tenant needs more time, so Mix Cafe will likely stick around until April.
Which is good news for me, since there really isn’t any place in Honolulu — that I know of, anyway — that serves authentic European-style sandwiches, much of which (including the bread) is made fresh and from scratch.
“Don’t go!” I whined.
“Thank you,” was all he said.
Iezzi, who was born and raised in Italy, opened Mix Cafe in February 2007 in downtown. He moved to this location on Alakea Street a few years ago.
He’s been working hard for years — from culinary school in Italy to working in kitchens from London to New York City — and he said he just wants a rest. (Iezzi also runs Bruno’s Forno in Chinatown.)
“I need a break,” he told me, smiling.
“What are you planning to do? Travel?”
“No,” he said. “I plan to sleep.”
I’m glad this hard-working restauranteur is taking some time for himself. But did he have to take away my favorite sandwiches, too?
Mix Cafe, I will miss you.
But until you actually close, I will be there as often as I can for my usual order of an Italian sandwich, hold the salad.
And you should, too.