DENVER – Welton Street Café, a restaurant located in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood, has launched another fundraiser to help with various financial needs.
Back in May, generous Denver7 viewers donated more than $41,000 to the restaurant after the business's HVAC system stopped working.
“We are so grateful," said Fathima Dickerson, co-owner of the Welton Street Café. "The money helped help us address many of the repairs and expenses we're responsible for as tenants."
But after the repairs were made, the restaurant announced it was moving to a new location, and many customers wanted to know why.
“We actually weren't able to negotiate an extended lease, and so that's what has motivated this move. So after March 12, we will be in a position where we are looking for any kind of cloud kitchen or ghost kitchen to support us while our other location is being built out,” Dickerson said. “A lot of it has to do with this building and what we were able to offer.”
Dickerson says the lease issue came at a time when the restaurant had outgrown their building.
Along with building repairs, the Denver7 Gives funds helped pay for design services needed for the new location. However, on Jan. 1, the restaurant launched another GoFundMe campaign.
“The funds that the community raised for the GoFundMe has been helping us start the build-out process for the new building,” Dickerson said. “The Small Business Administration emergency relief, they don't fund for build out of real estate, and so we're trying to build out and we're getting denied those funds.”
The co-owner says the restaurant did not qualify for other financial help from the local and state government. She says the restaurant will need new fixtures, equipment and supplies for the new space.
Dickerson says she understands those who might question the way Welton Street Cafe owners run their business, but says it's a tough time to be in the restaurant business due to the need for a new location and a pandemic that seems to never end.