Koin 6 broke the news that the Byways Cafe, a longstanding and beloved breakfast spot in the Pearl District, would be closing at the end of the year. In a post to Facebook, the cafe gave an all too familiar reason, writing, “It’s been well known that our building has been for sale for almost 2 years and that we have never had the resources to buy it ourselves. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to work out a lease that will allow us to keep Byways moving along like it always has.”
Predating the Pearl’s rapid development as a trendy, high-priced neighborhood, the Byways Cafe set down roots in 1998, serving a menu that has remained more or less constant: American breakfast and brunch classics like French toast, monte cristos, biscuits and gravy, and all sorts of egg scrambles and omelets, as well as a lunch menu of burgers and sandwiches. The vibe, too, is that of a classic American family-owned diner, with kitschy displays like decorative plates and license plates.
An outpouring of grief expressed in the comments of the Facebook group showed how well loved Byways is, with one commenter writing, “I can’t imagine a world without Byways in it, but I am so happy that you both will go out on a high note and have the chance to explore other opportunities.” Another was concise, writing, “This is so sad.”
The owners, despite lamenting the close, wrote positively about the whole thing: “We have spent over half our lives at Byways and we are ready and excited to have the chance to pursue other interests. Of all the ways a restaurant can close this is the best; successful, full of heart and a staff that we love.” Fans of Byways Cafe have until the end of the year for a last meal or two.