Oakland Avenue Cafe closing for business
Today will be the last day for one local coffee shop.
This is the last chance for frequent customers and friends to come for one last cup and say goodbye to the Oakland Avenue Cafe, owned and operated by Len Marsinko since 2000.
The cafe is inside the Pizza House building. The former owner of the Pizza House, John Tsiris, sold the property to Tom Zaucha in February.
Marsinko said Zaucha has other plans for the building and has asked him to move his business out by the end of April.
“Coffee will still be available here,” Marsinko said. “It just won’t be my coffee.”
Marsinko said the location of the Pizza House building has been perfect for him, and he doesn’t know how he will find another location that suits him so well. The cafe is along Oakland Avenue, at the traffic light at Weyandt, Johnson and Stright halls.
Marsinko said the location provided him with a consistent customer base, and the people who came to the cafe were more than just customers.
“The morning my dog died, I came to work and got through the day by talking to the people here,” he said.
Marsinko has made friends while at the cafe, friends that he says he couldn’t have made anywhere else.
“I will miss this block,” he said. “It was great to have been here doing something enjoyable among so many likable people for all this time.”
Marsinko said that one of the most satisfying feelings, besides talking with the people who came in during the day, was taking out the garbage.
“In all of the time since I have been here, the trash was full of empty cups,” he said. “To me, it meant they liked it. There could have been a mess to deal with, if not for that.”
Marsinko said that he owed much of his business to the kindness of his former landlord, Tsiris.
Before owning and operating the Oakland Avenue Cafe, Marsinko worked at Fisher Scientific in the quality control department. Shortly after the plant closed, he decided to take a chance by buying the cafe.
The cafe’s previous owner, Todd Boden, had passed away. Marsinko said he knew more than a decade ago that he would be making a mistake if he didn’t take the chance on the cafe.
“I’m unsure of what the future holds for me now,” Marsinko said. “If anyone has any use for me, let me know. I’m hoping to find something here within the next few weeks because I don’t have much time to keep my nose above the water.”
Marsinko hopes to find a job in the region that will allow him to still make a difference in the Indiana community.
“I’m a coffee shop waiting to happen,” he said.