Kataluma Chai closes up shop

Kataluma Chai Company closed as of Sunday, lasting less than a year at its Main Street location. The coffeehouse opened in October 2009 at 1470 Main St., subleasing about 650 square feet from the neighboring Niece’s Pieces, at the corner of Main and Lewis streets.

An announcement was posted in the windows of Kataluma Chai on Sunday (click image below to enlarge):

Dear Customers,
We regret to inform you that Kataluma Chai officially closed its doors on Sunday, September 26th. We appreciate all of the support you have given us over the past year. It has been our pleasure to serve you, and as an new business in downtown Rahway, we thank you for your warm welcome. We hope that you will continue to support local businesses during these tough economic times. Thank you again for your support.

Kataluma Chai Owners


9 thoughts on “Kataluma Chai closes up shop”

  1. That's too bad it closed. My wife was in there a lot during the early summer and Ive been there a few times, all good experiences. I wonder why they couldn't make it?

  2. I recently moved from Main Street. There isn't any foot traffic to speak of at any time of the day. I would think this is the problem. There just isn't anyone walking around, it isn't a part of town which has anything worth coming there for to browse and stay for. Kataluma needed people to happen by since it wasn't being promoted heavily as far as I was aware. Also, it really was a "niche" business. I think that a lot of people may have assumed they only served Chai based items, and may never have wandered in to find out there were other things on the menu. It didn't help that the front windows were kind of dark and unwelcoming. Maybe they were going for "cozy" but it made it look like they were closed from the street much of the time if you were just driving by.I lived pretty much across the street – I rarely saw anyone in there and I passed it daily. It's a shame, because the shakes were pretty awesome.

  3. They were nothing but kind and their chai drinks were delicious – but, I work in New York and their prices were more expensive than all the chai places I hit up there! I'm sure it was to offset the fact that they didn't serve many customers per day.Totally agree with Sivyaleah – no one walks around there during the day and they close up shop at night, when I suppose people living in Skyview or River Place wouldn't mind going to a cafe but had no option to do so.

  4. That's too bad, seemed like they just opened yesterday. Sivyaleah is right — there is almost zero foot traffic in downtown Rahway. Seems like a chicken-and-egg problem: no business can succeed without more people downtown, but no people will go (or live) downtown there being more to offer in terms of businesses.Assuming River Place is full since it's been around for a while, what's the occupancy rate of Skyview and Park Square? If those places were fully occupied, what would downtown Rahway look like?

  5. Having lived there for nearly 2 years – the problem is that there aren't the types of stores downtown which people actually want or need. There isn't a small grocer for instance, someplace to get decent fresh fruit and vegetables to prepared a dinner if you run out of something (and believe me, the ones around are lacking severely in quality and freshness). There aren't any stores to draw you in for necessities such as a Hallmark store (I can't count how many times I had to drag myself into the car when it would have been easier to walk down the block to get one). Not even a store to purchase a nice bottle of wine exists. Nearly all of the stores are barred and bolted, shut long ago and the ones which are open have short hours and frankly, sell items which nobody has any interest in for the most part (Nieces Pieces? How on earth does THAT place stay in business?). Sadly, again, I think many people are commuters that live downtown or people who come there just to stand on the street and hang out (and they have little money to spend on fancy over expensive drinks). Workers leave early in the morning, come back home later in the evening when shops have long closed up. Nothing, can exist under such circumstances; let alone stores which don't sell what the people need, require and want.

  6. I'm sad to see them go but I saw the writing on the wall as soon as they opened. The guy who worked there during the day was a bit rude and was reluctant to make non-chai drinks. The television was too large and too loud for that style establishment. And the layout was a little awkward. It's too bad. I would love to see Main Street thrive.

  7. I'm also sad to see this place go. Not this place particularly, just, another place.I agree wholeheartedly, downtown needs some sort of the downtown equivalent of an "anchor store" like a real supermarket. If you live in Rahway, where do you go to get groceries? Clark Shoprite? Colonia Pathmark (or is that Iselin)? I live AND work in downtown, and generally, if I go out to eat, I walk to a downtown restaurant.If there were a grocery store, I think the only time I'd use my car was to take the kids to school. It would also improve, or at least give a shot to, businesses who depend on foot traffic.Of course, if the downtown businesses wanted to stay open a little past when people get home, that would probably help too.

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