This popular Tower District coffee shop closed for good on July 4. Here’s what we know

JOHN WALKER/jwalker@fresnobee.com
·2 min read

Hi-Top Coffee has permanently closed up shop.

In a post on Instagram Monday night, the shop said that the closure wasn’t an easy decision and comes after months of effort otherwise.

“We are very sad to announce that Hi-Top Coffee will be closing our cafe at 1306 N. Wishon as of today,” it reads.

“We feel closing is the responsible thing to do. The cafe we had envisioned, and created pre-Covid, no longer feels achievable or worth the toll (it) has taken on our mental health & personal lives.”

The coffee roaster and cafe has been operating in the small strip of businesses on Wishon Avenue since 2017 and has become a popular spot in the neighborhood, serving a variety of specialized coffee drinks — espresso, pour-over coffee, lattes, cold brew — plus gourmet toast and other snacks.

It was No. 30 on Yelp’s list of top 50 places to eat in Fresno.

In its Instagram post, Hi-Top thanked its baristas and said staff at the shop was given a couple of weeks pay and a severance, “in hopes of making this transition easier.”

“We’ll forever be grateful to everyone that supported our little coffee shop in the Tower District. It has been nothing short of a privilege to serve and be a part of this wonderful, unique and unmatched community in Fresno. Thank you for kickin’ it with us.”

Hi-Top Coffee will continue to be available.

The company will continue to roast its own beans and will continue doing retail and wholesale business through its website. There are also plans to have the cafe open for one final day, “as a sort of going away celebration before we close the doors for good,”

A date has not been set.

News of the closure was met with shock and dismay from customers, but also allegations of bad management and employee misconduct. In comments that have since been removed from the cafe’s Instagram post, several people accused Hi-Top of mistreating its baristas, leading to the closure.

A message to the coffee shop was not immediately returned Tuesday morning.

This is the second coffee shop to open and close in that space on Wishon Avenue.

Cafe Corazon, which helped usher in small batch coffee roasting in Fresno, had a shop there from 2010 until 2016.