Three Lake Oswego restaurants receive additional help
Three Lake Oswego restaurants received generous funds this week raised from neighborhood businesses.
Justin Harnish of Harnish Properties, and Tucker and Joanie Merrihew with TTM Development, a local design and build firm, each donated $2,500 to kick off a GoFundMe campaign that raised $11,000 in just under two months.
The campaign's goal was to benefit struggling local restaurants amid the continually changing indoor dining restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beginning on Tuesday, Feb. 9, Harnish and Merrihew delivered $3,650 in cash to Chuckie Pies, Baird's on B, and Sabrozon Fresh Mexican Restaurant & Catering. The three restaurants were chosen at random with names drawn from a hat.
"It's hard to ask for money right now," Harnish said. "A lot of people are supporting local restaurants by getting takeout but ... there's no bartender, there's no dishwasher, there's no waiters and waitresses, you're just not having the experience that you're getting and those people aren't getting tips and things they rely on."
Harnish added that although takeout is helpful and shows a commitment to local restaurants, establishments need people inside.
"That's the way the machine works," he said.
On the heels of Gov. Kate Brown's announcement that restaurants can now open Friday, Feb. 12, with indoor capacity limited to 25% or 50 people (whichever is smaller) Baird Bulmore of Baird's on B said the donation couldn't have come at a better time. Bulmore recently closed the restaurant to install a new motor for the kitchen hood, which was a significant expense.
"It shows what the community does for local businesses, especially restaurants right now because times are so troubling," Bulmore said.
He said he plans to use the funds primarily for rent and repairs.
Lisa Shaw-Ryan, the owner of Chuckie Pies, said she was surprised and grateful when she found out her restaurant was one of the donation recipients.
"It's just really actually very typical of Lake Oswego. This community has been supportive of us from the moment we got here," Shaw-Ryan said. "People have been incredibly supportive and understanding."
Shaw-Ryan said the first step she took with the donated funds was to award staff to show her appreciation for their hard work.
"(The GoFundMe effort is) not unexpected, but of course to be the recipient is completely unexpected," Shaw-Ryan said. "That's why we're a special community."
Raul De La Torre, owner of Sabrozon, was so surprised to receive the donation he thought it was a joke at first.
"They came with the money, and I said, 'Oh wow, it's true," he said.
De La Torre thanks the community for supporting restaurants and small businesses in Lake Oswego. He said his goal is to have his restaurant survive throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and that these funds will help with payroll and other expenses.
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