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Linglestown Gazette: Chocolate Cafe melts down

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chocolate Cafe melts down

Add Linglestown Chocolate Cafe to the list of businesses that have hung the "closed" sign on the door for good. The restaurant's last day of business was Saturday.

The Chocolate Cafe was opened in November 2006 by local businessmen Bill Hornung and Marty Schoffstall in a restored church located in the heart of the historic village of Linglestown.

The eatery struggled to get traction with the public because of its name – many thought it only offered desserts and beverages when it had a full lunch and dinner menu. Also, some customers didn't like the serving counter, and eventually the counter was closed off and a full-service setup was adopted. Last summer, the deck was expanded and several special promotions were held under the stars.

Because of the homey atmosphere of the old church, the Chocolate Cafe became a popular place for special events and meetings, including an art exhibit held last spring.

This is the second restaurant to close it doors in the Linglestown area in the last two weeks – Geo's Country Oven called it quits on Februrary 22.

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At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny you just posted this as I noticed the closed sign outside with a sad face as I was going to lunch today. I am not surprised they closed due to having a bad experience there twice.

At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They were so over priced and not many chocolate desserts. I was there twice and both times used a credit card and wanted to use cash for the tip. When I asked for change for a $20 bill I was told they didn't have change for a twenty. When the people sitting next to us received their change, the waiter actually told them he was short $2.00 and walked away. The people were so dumbfounded they didn't even know what to say. That place was a joke.

At 6:20 PM, Anonymous Q said...

There goes my Halfpriceharrisburg $50 gift certificate. I knew I should have tried to get there earlier. At least I only paid $25 for it. Dang!

At 11:51 PM, Anonymous Jay Purdy said...

Went there several times after it first opened and was more sandwich-oriented.Somewhat pricey, but the food was good and the cole slaw was especially awesome.
Hopefully it can find more success in a new incarnation ... could be a tremendous asset to the village.

At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Second time we've been burned on Harrisburg Half.com. Is that for the places that are going out of business??

At 8:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When it first opened we loved it and went weekly. Then it morphed into a pricey and high-end restaurant - and we stopped going. Apparently we weren't alone.

At 10:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This place was doomed from the start the owner and manager didn't care when I expressed unhappiness on my third visit; about every visit and did nothing to fix the problems. adding a deck or removing a counter won't solve incompetence. So, that only goes to show you people do want customer service and what comes around goes around!!!

At 10:21 PM, Blogger  said...

Beyond apparent problems with the restaurant's food and operations, the church was beautifully renovated into a great space for something. It will be interesting to see what goes in there next.

At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was thrilled when I heard about the Chocolate Cafe opening up! My family and I went there within the first couple of weeks of it opening and were so disappointed. Bad service, bad menu, SO EXPENSIVE! Pretty renovations or not I agree, that place was a joke.

At 7:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed that the Chocolate Cafe has closed! They had delicious desserts and the atmosphere was inviting and warm. We always received pleasant service, and with a baby and a toddler, that doesn't always happen.
Although they were a bit overpriced, so is the Chocolate Cafe in Litiz.
What a bummer!

At 11:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chocolate Cafe was a good idea but was not implemented successfully. New businesses in Linglestown has not been very successful in recent years. As for the closed cafe, I would attribute to a few factors:

1) Switching from sandwich to a high-priced restaurant is not a good idea. This is Linglestown not the affluent West Chester county.

2) Taste of food does not match up to the high price.

3) Staff are not friendly.

4) Chocolate desserts was not an attraction.

The Chocolate cafe in Lititz is better.

I think the business can be re-invented with some prudent changes like ambient, focusing on attracting certain customer-types, lower priced menu.

At 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was definately overpriced and the service left much to be desired. The owners needed a lesson on proper food service,
but it probably wouldn't have helped because of the ripoff pricing.

At 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had only eaten there one time and was disappointed overall. The atmosphere was wonderful, but the food was overpriced and the service was very SLOW. When you are on a lunch hour, it shouldn't take 45 min to get your lunch, especially when there are only 2 other couples in the restaurant. If they ever re-open, they should change the name as it was deceptive. Not much in the way of good chocolate desserts for a restaurant named chocoate cafe.

At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The owner who also ownes the Hardware Store just up the road wanted to be that guy who walked around and compted bills and shmuzed with customers. He went in not knowing anything about the demographic, the tastes or income level of those who were in the general area. The "resturant" (that term is for classification not for what it actually did) was proud to offer pretty desserts that were decorated and presented so elegantly but... I've worked in resturants for years and yes I too know about Sysco Food Distrobution. I had a salesman from that firm come to my resturant with samples trying to get me into a contract and low and behold... they were the exact same desserts that LCC used. The menu was ecclectic. There is a fine line between being a fusion restuant (see NOBU) and just not being able to pick a particular cuisine but knowing how to make twenty different dishes semi well. Also putting cocoa powder in everything... not very tasty at all. I have yet to see a for sale sign out front of the building which (gulp) could mean that the old owners are scratching in the dirt for some loose change to reopen as something different.
"burn it down gentlemen. Burn it to ashes and salt the Earth. Let no man woman or child ever learn of the attrocoties that occurred here."


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