Kanata restaurateur starts GoFundMe to help struggling eateries
OTTAWA -- Many dine-in restaurants that had to pivot their business, to take out and delivery, in order to survive the pandemic are now facing another blow as the province heads into its second lockdown.
Mike Labreche, is part owner of the Crazy Horse and Central Bierhaus in Kanata. Both restaurants have remained temporarily closed since December. It was not financially viable to keep them open.
However his hope is that other dining establishments won't have to do the same. Labreche started a GoFundMe campaign with a $50,000 goal. The money would be divided equally amongst 10 local restaurants in the Kanata and Stittsville area.
"A lot of places are in dire need for help," says Labreche. "If I can keep one place open an extra month it's something that I feel very strongly about."
Restaurant owners like Kal Ghadie will tell you it hasn't been easy. At his family eatery, Kal's Place, business isn’t just slow; it's almost non-existent.
Ghadie says he hasn't had a day off since the onset of the pandemic and he's keeping his doors open for as long as he can. Calls to order meals trickle in. A few for breakfast, a handful more throughout the day.
And while government aid is available, Ghadie says it doesn't cover everything, which could mean dipping into personal savings to stay afloat.
"If we don't have people coming in to pick up orders we can't survive much longer," says Ghadie. "This is my livelihood this is my retirement I don't have a retirement pension plan or anything like that."
At Aperitivo, it's a similar story. Owner Erica Fillipoff says with winter here, getting through the next three months will be a challenge. The restaurant offers curb-side pick up of their Mediterranean inspired fair.
"This money would definitely go to keeping people paid keeping bills paid and keeping the lights on," says Fillipoff. "I think we all have our eyes set on spring April can't come fast enough ... we are in it for the long-haul we are not going down without a fight."
Ghadie agrees, and that restaurants are thankful for the support of the community as well as other owners. He says it will be big help for a lot of people.