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Denver's Coffee at The Point launches GoFundMe campaign to reopen

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Posted at 5:07 PM, Oct 11, 2022

DENVER — Two months after closing, Coffee at The Point in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood is launching a GoFundMe campaign to pay for costs related to reopening.

Coffee at The Point owner Ryan Cobbins said he closed the coffee shop on July 31 following ongoing internal and external issues.

“We've had more food walking out the door than we ever had, we've had more times of opening the shop late, closing early,” Cobbins said. “I'm looking at the backdrop of us, which is Welton Street, and just how barren…I think the summation of that, for me is just this retraction of businesses really kind of post-COVID and Coffee at The Point is no different in that.”

Cobbins said other challenges include the rising cost of labor and supplies.

“In 2010, minimum wage was a little over $7 an hour. 2023, minimum wage in Denver goes above $17 an hour. So for us, it's not as if you could take a $3 cup of coffee, and now all of a sudden, it's a $10 or $11 cup of coffee,” Cobbins said.

Cobbins said the money raised through the GoFundMe campaign will help pay past due bills and vendors to reopen.

“We're trying to raise a little over $56,000… we’ve got some back rent to pay. A lot of our vendors are local, so we want to make good with them as well. We haven’t received any revenue since we closed in July,” Cobbins said. “I think it was important for us to take a pause to re-evaluate what we needed to do. And then more than anything, re-evaluate like, the next iteration of Coffee at The Point as it relates to our operations.”

Cobbins said he wasn’t comfortable launching a GoFundMe without giving some of the funds to a community organization. Cobbins said 8% of the funds raised will go to Imagination Library.

Cobbins isn’t alone in his restaurant financial struggles. Officials from the Colorado Restaurant Association say restaurants across the state are facing similar challenges.

“Ninety-one percent of our operators say their food and beverage costs are higher now than they were before the pandemic. Ninety-seven percent say their labor costs are higher,” Colorado Restaurant Association Communications Director Denise Mickelsen said. “Ninety-three percent of local operators say that their businesses are less profitable now than they were in 2019.”

Mickelsen said the current state of the economy is making it hard for restaurants to succeed.

“I worry that we might see more restaurant closures even though it feels like in a lot of ways we've come out of the pandemic,” Mickelsen.

Mickelsen said the best ways customers can support local restaurants is to continue patronizing their favorite establishment and to be patient with staff members.