Uptown Waterloo’s The Atrium and Angie’s Diner and Bakery are closing to make way for a new development. Angie’s has announced it will shut its doors pe rmanently by May 30. Meanwhile, The Atrium, which houses several local establishments, is expected to close in fall 2022.
According to KitchenerToday, The buildings were sold to a developer who plans to rebuild the area, though it is unknown what type of development it will be. Several of the businesses in The Atrium confirmed that they are looking for new permanent or temporary homes in Kitchener-Waterloo. Some, like the Aroma Café and the Duke of Wellington Pub, will stay until September 2022, while others, like the Cobbleston
e Gallery, have already ceased
The closure of The Atrium, and especially Angie’s, has been met with disappointment, anger and sadness, especially from University of Waterloo students.
Lea Rousseau, a third-year knowledge integration student, expressed her disappointment. “I spent a lot of time there over the last three years and it’s sad to see it go.”
She is aware that she is not the only person who feels this way. “There are a lot of people who went to Angie’s as students, and now come back as adults with their families during homecoming. It’s a place that’s been a staple of the community.”
In addition, Rousseau praised the restaurant’s atmosphere, stating that “It’s the last family friendly and casual diner in Waterloo. There is Mel’s Diner, but it’s a different atmosphere. Angie felt like going over to an aunt or uncle’s house.”
Regarding the new development, she said “Anything that takes out small businesses, personal housing, farmland, and forests is just wrong.”
Rousseau wasn’t wrong about the student reaction. Zofia Washington, a third-year science psychology student, also expressed her disappointment about the businesses closing.
“I’m really sad to hear that Angie’s and The Atrium are closing down,” she said. “Angie’s has been a go-to spot for whenever I wanted to meet up with friends or take my parents to lunch when they drove up to visit. The service was always super friendly and the food was great. I would always bring a cinnamon roll home with me and get to enjoy that souvenir the next day.”
When asked, Washington agreed that she will miss visiting Angie’s because “[she] has so many nice memories there, sharing breakfast foods with friends and family.” For her, “Angie’s had a very charming atmosphere that made every visit enjoyable…Some of my favourite moments were the impromptu meals with friends and catching up with my family that had come to visit me.”
The closures also disappointed Aileen Leadbetter, the owner of the Cobblestone. She discussed the effect COVID-19 had on her decision to close: “Unfortunately, and mostly due to COVID-19, I’ve had to close my store permanently. We closed on March 31, 2021, but I’m remaining online. I’m going to experiment with a few different things, new products, and more, but realistically I can’t afford to relocate.”
“I’m sad that The Atrium is being sold,” she continued. “It’s a unique building in Uptown Waterloo—it has a lot of character and it stands out amongst other buildings surrounding it. It needs better mobility access and larger, more accessible bathrooms to accommodate customers with special needs.”
Leadbetter acknowledged that “Waterloo is a booming city, and there is more money to be made with condos than retail alone… But it will be very sad to see the Atrium go and I think Waterloo will lose a little piece of its character with it.”
Next door to the Atrium, popular diner Angie’s is closing its doors after 59 years of service. The owners, Teresa and Bob Huegle, discussed their decision in a May 7 release:
“In this COVID-19 time, and people will know what I’m talking about, we’ve certainly had time to reflect while being alone. We’ve heard terrible stories and tragedies, and I don’t want that. I’m glad that I’m going out on my terms.”
The restaurant, which was started by Teresa’s parents Angie and Bill Graham in 1962, has been popular amongst students and families since it opened. In the release, the Huegles expressed gratitude toward the “loyal customers and staff [who] made it possible for [them] to be successful for such a long time.”
The release continues, “In a non-COVID time, our goodbye could have been very different, with time to come together and reminisce. We want all to be safe, healthy, and know that we are grateful for all the wonderful memories.”