Nearby businesses sad, surprised at apparent closing of Stockbridge cafe

Nearby business owners are surprised and sad to see that Stockbridge Gourmet Cheesecake & Cafe appears to have closed for good.

They said it hasn’t been open since late last week. There now is a “For Lease” sign in the window. However, the furniture and much of the restaurant-related equipment still can be seen in place, inside the establishment.

“We just came in here one day and everything there was closed down,” said Jennifer Sneider, who owns the adjoining J-Cuts Barber Shop. “It’s sad to see something like that happen — it’s been here for awhile.”

Sneider and co-worker Ross James would frequently drop in Stockbridge to pick up coffee and perhaps something sweet to eat.

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“I loved going there,” James said. “The closing came out of nowhere. People have been asking us what happened, but we don’t know.”

Sneider said she knew the Stockbridge owners, Brian and Lisa Stockbridge, in the casual way that owners of nearby businesses occasionally interact. “Everyone helps everyone else out down here,” she said of downtown business owners.

Hope for a new restaurant

John Pepaj, new owner of the nearby Little Tomato pizza restaurant, said he doesn’t know what happened either. “I just saw one day it was closed,” he said.

Pepaj also would occasionally exchange pleasantries with the Stockbridge owners. “We all help each other out in neighborly ways,” he said.

He said the closing isn’t good for nearby businesses. “I would hope someone would take on what’s there,” Pepaj said. “It’s for lease and will probably be back.”

Pepaj is preparing to rename the pizza establishment he recently bought, and will hold a grand opening.