A local mainstay is no more. The Post reports that Heller's Bakery, a community stape since 1928, has closed. The bakery, with its iconic mural and cool old metal and neon sign, has served up coffee, pastries, cakes and such for a long time. I often liked to stop by for a donut after going to the Mt. Pleasant Farmers Market.
The Post says that the rent, which was already $7,500, would have increased shortly, and the bakery was having a tough time paying bills already and had fallen behind. The building's owner, Jean Lujan, also owned the bakery in the past, but didn't sound too sad to see it go:
“I like them and, in many ways, they’re fine tenants,” she said of [owners] the Duni brothers. “But I didn’t want to be struggling for the rent. A bakery is a very hard business to run. I’m not sure there’s room for that kind of place anymore.”
A new tenant may want to change the mural, Lujan said, “and I wouldn’t balk, although I don’t know if the neighborhood would balk.”Despite the lack of sentimentality, it's an interesting point. Le Caprice Bakery at 14th and Meridian is popular and wonderful, but I think most of their business is coffee, sandwiches and pastries to go, rather than bigger things like cakes, which Heller's seems to do a lot. And I've heard mixed things about the cakes and other baked goods from friends and on Yelp. (In fact, I have a few friends who hate Heller's, but I've never fully understood why.)
It sounds like the business is dead, there's no mention of them reopening somewhere else. And it's too bad.