Flying Machine, Pizza M both leaving downtown Urbana building

Flying Machine, Pizza M both leaving downtown Urbana building

URBANA — A pizza place and coffee shop are moving out of their space in downtown Urbana at the end of March.

Flying Machine is closing March 28, but will keep its Avionics coffee shop in midtown Champaign.

And Pizza M is closing at the end of March and moving a block north into the 25 O'Clock Brewery on Griggs Street.

They're both moving out of Cafeteria and Co. at 208 W. Main St., where they'd been tenants since 2013.

In their place, Cafeteria and Co.'s owner, Matt Cho, plans to open a new coffee shop and cafe April 1.

"Cafeteria and Co. will continue operations at that location, offering coffee and cafe fare," Cho said, adding that it will be similar to Cafe Kopi in downtown Champaign. "A large space for grad students or professors or people within walking distance to study or have meetings, with a coffee-shop vibe that has existed since the beginning."

Flying Machine operator Josh Lucas announced Thursday on Facebook that he was closing the Urbana shop for a variety of reasons.

"After four years of being part of a growing downtown Urbana, it turns out I had less bargaining chips than I thought I did," Lucas wrote. "It's a shame, but we are just no longer welcome at Cafeteria & Co."

Lucas said some employees will be able to move over to the Avionics shop, but that there won't be enough room for everybody.

"Sadly it's too many people to keep employed at one shop," he said in an email. "So we will have to let a few people go."

Pizza M operator Matt Kitzmiller said he hopes to open in the new location on Griggs Street by April 1, but that will depend on construction.

At 25 O'Clock, Pizza M will have carry out and delivery next door to the brewery, and customers will be allowed to use the brewery's tap room as a dining room, Kitzmiller said.

"We have a really neat opportunity with that brewery," he said.

Like Lucas, Kitzmiller said there are several reasons for the move, including that rent has "more than doubled since we've been here."

Cho acknowledged that, but said Cafeteria and Co. was meant to be more of an incubator rather than a permanent space.

And he said rent increased from well below market levels and was still relatively cheap.

"I was charging obscenely below-market rents for the first two years. Then, yes, rent technically doubled," Cho said.

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