UpRising Bakery and Cafe in Lake in the Hills closes

The UpRising Bakery and Cafe, 2104 W. Algonquin Road in Lake in the Hills, on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022. Owner Corinna Sac, after opening a bakery in 2021, began hosting events to try and supplement her business' income. One of those events – a drag brunch – led to threats and vandalism but also an outpouring of support.

After almost a year of protests, vandalism, entanglements with the village of Lake in the Hills over zoning, angry social media posts and a GoFundMe that raised almost $24,000, the owner of UpRising Bakery and Cafe closed Wednesday.

“Thank you to everyone who held us up and supported us,” said Corinna Bendel-Sac, owner of the cafe that took heat from some members of the community, as well as some people from other states, for hosting LGBTQ-friendly events including what she called family-friendly drag brunches.

“It was made very clear that we were unable to move like we tried to do,” she continued in a text message. “That reality, in addition to low sales, was a clear indicator that this dream was over and it was time to experience a new one.”

Bendel-Sac said the money raised by the GoFundMe has been “used for exactly what we said” it would be used for.

“We were completely transparent in that we owed business tax and rent and facing forced closures because of the large unpaid balances,” she said.

The harassment escalated and reached international news outlets ahead of a planned all ages drag brunch in July 2022. This prompted protestors as well as vandalism of the building the night before the scheduled event which was then canceled.

Joseph Collins, 25, of Alsip is facing felony charges of hate crime and criminal damage to property in connection with the vandalism.

Along with smashing three store front windows and the glass door with a bat, Collins spray painted explicit messages, according to the complaint. Two of those messages were inflammatory toward LGBTQ+ individuals.