- July 1, 2021
- Posted by: Stratford Team
- Category: Business
For Libby Willis, the former co-owner of beloved Prospect Heights spot MeMe’s Diner, the pandemic brought into sharper focus what she already knew firsthand from three years of running the diner: The economics of the restaurant industry are unsustainable, especially for small owner-operators, and even more so for rare queer-owned spaces. But instead of turning away from the industry after closing MeMe’s doors, Willis connected with other queer-owned businesses that had launched during the pandemic and started hosting pop-ups out of MeMe’s vacant space. That effort foreshadowed Willis’ latest venture.
In mid-June, the former MeMe’s Diner space at 657 Washington Avenue, near Saint Marks Avenue, officially reopened as KIT (an acronym for “Keep In Touch”), a neighborhood cafe and a business incubator that represents Willis’s blueprint for carving out more space in the industry for queer people and people of color — both as diners, and…