“Yes, the rumors are true that I will be retiring and closing Babette’s,” says restaurateur/chef Marla Adams on the outgoing voice message for Poncey-Highland mainstay Babette’s Cafe. Adams announced the closure on Facebook and her website around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5.
All good things must come to an end. I’ve written a couple of long letters over the last few years about retiring, failing at retirement. But here I am, ready for a new chapter in my life. Sunday, May 8, 2022 will be our last performance of this crazy show called Babette’s Cafe. It has been my home, and many of yours, since October 1992. I am so fortunate to have been able to have a career as a cook, a chef, a restaurateur. There is no other career that would have given me such joy, excitement and camaraderie.
Any business has its share of frustrations, downturns, and even heartache. But you, our audience, have been there for us. It is remarkable how many of you have become a regular part of Babette’s cast of characters and friends. We have celebrated anniversaries, birthdays, marriages, losses and just some plain old dinners together. I know this news will be a disappointment to many. And this is not insignificant to me.
What will I do? I will travel, go camping with my dogs, put my feet in the dirt in my garden. I will spend time with my family. I will rest. I will try to find peace and ease. I will sit by the ocean in Scotland. I will work on a cookbook. I will hold close memories of evenings with you. You and Babette’s will always be part of who I am.
I hope a memory from Babette’s will make you smile.
Online reactions range from dismay and sadness to congratulatory for a long run and Adam’s retirement.
Babette’s Cafe opened in 1992 and is inspired by the Isak Dinesen’s story and the movie “Babette’s Feast”. Located in a former cottage on North Highland, the convivial bistro’s cozy dining room is a go-to for romantic evenings out, with dishes centered on the cuisine found in the countrysides of France, Spain, and Italy.
Adams ends her voicemail with, “Thank you for everyone for Babette’s many years of success.”