Frozen Monkey is apparently going out of business. The midtown café is closing its doors for good, despite signs that say it is only closed for renovations.
Customers seemed shocked to hear the news, as there was no warning. One night it was open. The next, brown paper lined the windows and signs taped to the door read "closed for renovations."
Liberty Realty agent Dominick Competello confirmed that they "packed it up." He had Frozen Monkey listed for sale for nearly two years, before the business switched to another realtor about four months ago. In December 2007 Frozen Monkey was listed for $350,000. The asking price was reduced to $290,000 in 2009, before they switched realtors.
Frozen Monkey's owners and managers did not answer multiple contact attempts.
"I don't know what happened," Competello said, "I thought they had a buyer, but it fell through. Now we're trying to rent the space." The storefront is listed for rent at $6,000 per month.
There are reports of New Jersey fast food chain The Windmill replacing Frozen Monkey, but Windmill co-owner Rena Levy said nothing is certain yet.
"We are still on hold and hoping to get there," Levy said. "As of this moment, everything is on hold." She said also that the process has been "on hold" for more than two years, and the status has not changed in recent weeks.
With the work of local artists lining the walls, couches arranged sitting-room style, free wireless internet and a laid-back vibe, Frozen Monkey was one of the few true cafes in Hoboken. It earned mixed reviews online, but had a loyal following, for both the healthy menu and the funky atmosphere. It was a refuge for anyone trying to escape the chain coffee shops, a place where the staff knew regulars on a first name basis and never rushed their customers.
Informed that the café was closed for good, Hoboken resident Jessica Hersh refused to believe it. "If that's true," she said, "I'm devastated. Absolutely devastated."