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Rose Tattoo Cafe is temporarily shut down, and the reason is a mystery

The romantic cafe, which opened in 1983, changed hands about two months ago.

The bar in the rear dining room of Rose Tattoo Cafe, 1847 Callowhill St.
The bar in the rear dining room of Rose Tattoo Cafe, 1847 Callowhill St.Read moreFACEBOOK

Rose Tattoo Cafe, which has held down the corner of 19th and Callowhill Streets since the Reagan administration, is shut down, and it’s not clear what’s going on.

The bistro, one of the earlier dining destinations in the neighborhood north of Logan Square, changed hands in May as founders Michael and Helene Weinberg sold to Michael Maltepes, a developer and business owner in the neighborhood.

Staff was retained, including longtime chef Alan Lichtenstein.

But the liquor license was not transferred at the time of the sale, I hear, and the restaurant was forced to stop selling alcohol — not a good thing for a bar-restaurant.

The last day of operation was July 26. A sign on the door reads, “Sorry, temporarily closed due to technical difficulties.” The voicemail at the restaurant is full and its Open Table reservation is switched off. Maltepes did not return a text message seeking comment.

I hear that a liquor license is about two weeks away, presumably allowing it to reopen.

The Weinbergs opened the Rose in 1983, replacing a corner bar called Dublin Tavern, whose owner, Richard Masiello, also owned Chaucer’s back then. The restaurant built a following as both a reliable business-lunch spot as well as a romantic dinnertime destination, thanks to the liberal use of greenery and lighting.

Updated to reflect the impending liquor-license transfer.