While news that Yola will close its doors for good on September 28 is still setting in, a rep for the Neighborhood Restaurant Group confirms to Eater by email that the group is indeed the mysterious new tenant in the space. According to the rep, the group behind the likes of ChurchKey and Vermilion is aiming to open in the space later this fall — and they're staying tight-lipped about what's in store: "We are very excited about the space and the neighborhood and will be sharing more details about the concept soon."
And for those who need more closure about why Yola is no more, co-owner Laura Smith shared a brutally honest essay with Best Bites about her experience as an entrepreneur and restaurateur, warning other dreamers away from opening businesses. While the shop looked successful from the outside, Smith explained that things quickly got out of hand:
"At one point, a regular customer turned to me and said, "It must be so great to be getting this rich this young!" I felt like I was pulling off a great charade. At any moment, everyone would realize the truth. We were losing money, and we were losing it fast."
As Yola struggled, Smith argued with bill collectors, worked as a pool manager at a country club to shore up debt, and took Celexa for four months for her anxiety. As the crux of her essay, she gives advice to desk jockeys yearning to start a coffee shop: Just don't do it.
· Yola Will Close Its Doors in Dupont on September 28 [-EDC-]
· Yola Founder Laura Smith Talks About the Yogurt Shop's Closing [Washingtonian]
· All Previous Yola Coverage [-EDC-]
· All Previous Neighborhood Restaurant Group Coverage [-EDC-]