The Riverside Perk is closed

After 17 years in business, the Riverside Perk — the neighborhood coffee shop at 1144 N. Bitting — has closed.

A sign posted on the door this morning says that, as of today, The Perk is temporarily closed.

Facebook postings on owner Maggie Ballard’s and an employee’s pages indicate that the business is for sale.

“It was just a business move that needed to be made,” Ballard wrote on her Facebook wall.

I navigated the branch-strewn streets of Riverside to see for myself if the rumor was true.

I found The Perk, known for its scenic front porch and flyer-plastered windows, quiet and empty during a time that it’s normally crawling with customers.

It was sort of eerie.

The Perk, as it’s often called, has for years been a neighborhood gathering place and a haven for artists, musicians and coffee fans.

I’ll let you know when I hear more from Ballard about what’s next for the shop.