Cafe Laufer, a favorite European bakery and cafe in Kaimuki for 22 years, ran out of food for a few hours today, the day after its sudden closing was announced, as customers tried to get their last taste of a gourmet pastrami sandwich, fruit-filled torte or bratwurst special.
Laufer’s final day of operation will be Jan. 31. Lease issues were cited as the reason for the closure.
An employee said the restaurant was flooded by customers and had to close from 3:30 p.m. until more food could be delivered at 6:30 p.m. (Normal Friday hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
Owner and pastry chef Cyrus Goo could not be reached for comment about the closing of the shop at 3565 Waialae Ave. that he and Marlie von Laufer, a German native, opened in December 1995. He had intended to turn over the business, which employs eight, to chef Melvin Avecilla, a chef there for 17 years.
A letter posted at the counter reads: “Agreement between all parties did not work out. This past year has been a year of negotiations and the turn over to Melvin never took place.”
Avecilla was quoted on KHON television as saying he was surprised that he was given only eight days notice of the closure.
Goo said last year that he was weary of working 14 hours every day, and decided to turn the shop’s operation over to Avecilla. Goo took a job as sous-chef at the Sheraton Princes Kaiulani. See 808ne.ws/Lauferchef.