By Joey Weisler
COVID-19 has impacted several businesses and families since its early outbreak and one local family has not been spared from the effects.
After 12 years, the D’Apple Cafe has announced they are closing their doors. Located at Brookeside Square at Wiles Road in Coral Springs, it’s owned by Michelle Kendall, along with her mother Debbe and brother Diron.
They originally came to Florida and chose Brookside Square in Coral Springs to open the doors, as the city’s location matched precisely what they wanted — a hometown feel.
The theme of the apples comes from a box of kitchenware, where Debbe placed her home decor when moving from Arizona to Florida. She labeled the box with her first initial, “D,” followed by the word “apples” when the moving process began.
Those same apples that were once in Debbe’s home kitchen were later placed on the walls of the Coral Springs restaurant.
“We’ve grown with the city. We’ve grown with its people, and we’ve grown with their kids,” said Michelle.
When they first opened our doors, people came in planning their weddings and events, and later they would come in with their children.
“The hardest part about closing the doors is the people…. our restaurant mattered to people,” said Michelle.
The Kendall family has also witnessed tragedy beyond compare while celebrating many remarkable milestones with families.
Michelle said the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting was the most difficult time they endured as a business.
“People were coming into D’Apple Cafe, and they would take a seat and never say a word. They would just sit there. Some for an hour, and then leave. They just needed to be close to the school and reflect.”
Michelle remembers serving first-responders after the tragedy and giving coffee to teachers who stopped in before school in the mornings to follow trying times and providing solace in any way as a safe space to her community.
Former NFL athlete Donnell Bennett of the Washington Redskins has been a staple to D’Apple cafe, breaking bread after Saturday lacrosse games for his son. Everything from the apple decor to just having his voice being recognized when placing a takeout order reminds Bennet of home.
“We want to get behind the family and do whatever we can because we love the atmosphere and everything is just like home,” he said.
The economic impact led to the restaurant’s decision to shut the doors due to facing a reality that is not financially possible to keep customers and the family safe under the current conditions.
In addition to having only 17 tables in a dining room unable to space tables out six feet apart, the Kendall family knew it would not be possible to accommodate guests to be seated at 50 percent capacity. To add the costs of sneeze guards, disposable menus, plates and utensils, gloves, and other measures that needed to be in place to ensure safety, their options began to appear slim.
The Kendall family thanks the Coral Springs community for their years of services and the memories they made with their families at this time. Although they are not sure how or when, they hope to return.
Michelle said, “We may be down, but we are not out.”
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- Joey Weisler is a native to the city of Parkland and a homebred student of each of the Parkland schools (MSD class of 2013). He has earned his BA in Communication Studies from Florida Atlantic University in 2017 and his MA in English: Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University in 2018. He currently instructs English Composition at the college level.