The lingering cupcake craze appears to have suffered its first major casualty: Love Café, the lounge-y across-the-street counterpart to Warren Brown‘s pioneering U Street bakery Cake Love, is apparently shutting its doors later this month. “Love cafe was wonderful fun, but after 8 great years says adieu Jan 29!” owner Brown reports via Twitter. Another farewell note is posted on the sit-down cupcakery’s Web site. Last spring, Y&H sat down with Brown to discuss how the District’s cupcake-making pioneer was dealing with the sudden explosion of rival dessert makers bursting onto the scene. His one-time celebrity (you’d see his handsome, dreadlocked mug all over television, from The Oprah Winfrey Show to various Food Network programs) had seemed to fade amid all the attention given to other confectioners, particularly TLC network darlings Katherine Kallinis and Sophie LaMontagne, the gals at tourist-magnet Georgetown Cupcake. At the time, Brown seemed none too bitter about all the interlopers infringing on his sweets turf. Brown’s original bakery, Cake Love, remains open for business. More details as they become available.

UPDATE: In an email to Washington Business Journal, Brown blames the impending closure on “increasing rents that the restaurant could not sustain.”