(Matt Rocheleau for Boston.com)
Allston Cafe, known for its quirky, alternative, punk-rock style, will close this weekend after a 26-year run on the corner of Brighton and Harvard avenues.
Owner Derek Brown said he hopes to re-open the business, formerly part of the Herrell's Ice Cream chain, in another location in the neighborhood, perhaps as early as spring.
The economic downturn, coupled with a more than 50-percent hike in the space's lease rate that the cafe's owners had been fighting their landlord on for nearly one year, left them with no choice, Brown said Thursday.
The cafe was cherished member of "Allston Rock City" since 1984, serving coffee, ice cream, breakfast, lunch, and vegan menu options. Its final hours of business will be Saturday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m., followed by an open house to say farewell to customers from 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.
A year-and-a-half ago, the cafe cut its ties with Herrell's to run independently. As part of a regional expansion effort, Herrell’s began giving its franchises a uniform look and feel, which prompted the cafe's owners to run the shop as its own entity -- free from locally-founded corporation's control and able to keep its unique, brash feel.
"They wanted people to be able to walk into any Herrell’s across the nation and know it was a Herrell's," Page Masse, Brown's wife, told the Globe in June 2009. "We wanted to keep it the fun, funky place that it is."
Allston Cafe has around one dozen employees, said Brown.
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(David L. Ryan/ Globe Staff/ File Photo)