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Restaurant Wed Oct 06 2010
The Heartland Cafe is in danger of closing if its owners can't raise $50,000 to cover taxes and license fees. As noted in Mary Schmich's column today, the 34-year-old countercultural restaurant, bar, general store and music venue is one of the city's last bastions of hippiedom -- and as such serves as a cultural center for many folks in Rogers Park and Chicagoland at large.
Heartland is offering several incentives to help raise the money, including membership cards that get you a discount on purchases for anywhere from a year to a "lifetime." Read the full announcement after the jump.
Dear Friends of the Café: The Heartland Café has arrived at a crucial fork in the road in terms of our financial survival. A severe cash flow crisis produced by two years of increasing bank charges and overdraft fees has placed us in an ever-deepening hole. Money we need to pay for everyday costs involved in running the Heartland has gone right into the hands of our bank. This bank has hurt more than helped our small business, and will not lend us money.
We need to come up with $50,000 immediately to cover State taxes and the City's two-year licensing fees for food, liquor and outdoor dining for all our venues. We will need another $50,000 to get through the winter of 2010-11. Our long-range goal is to raise a
million dollars to assure that this 34-year-old neighborhood business (and unofficial community center) is around to celebrate its 35th Anniversary in August 2011.
This will include a green roof with a greenhouse to grow herbs and vegetables, patio enclosure and fireplace for the winter, and several other improvements to help us to server you better.
To raise this sort of money we are asking people:
1. Join the Big Heart Challenge, 250 people who donate $200 or more.
2. Offering membership cards that guarantee a discount ($150 gives a discount for a year, $500 for five years, and $1000 gets you a lifetime discount).
3. Seeking financial gifts from those who are able to donate.
4. Seeking long-term, low interest loans.
5. Selling gift certificates (for prepaid food, drink, and store items).
6. Encouraging you to use our catering services and/or to hold your event here.
7. Continue patronizing our wholesome foods restaurant as often as possible, and encourage others to do so, too.
We have taken many steps to improve our operation and our product. In fact, our numbers have improved since 2009; yet remain about 18% down from 2008, when the deep national recession/depression began. The spiraling bank charges ($118,000 in the past 18 months) have taken more than 10% of our monthly income -- the very money that would have enabled us to pay all our bills and keep current with our responsibilities.
Many people love the Heartland Café, and we love being here for you. Born of the social, political, and cultural movements of the 1960's and 70's, "Good Wholesome Food for the Mind and Body" was our mission then, and remains our mission today. What we began then and continue to provide every year since is important to those seeking to improve our lives,our communities, and our world.
The Heartland Café continues to open doors and to support, reinforce, and encourage our friends, neighbors, and all like-minded spirits on the path to build individuals, communities, and a world where we truly share One Heart.
To be open for business next month, and alive and well for our 35th anniversary next summer, we desperately need your help and support right now. We have been here for thousands of people and hundreds of organizations. We need you to be here for us now.
Please contact Katy Hogan and Michael James the Heartland's co-founders and co directors: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
You can call 773 465 8005 (Café)
773 746 6587 (Katy)
Or simply purchase a 10% membership card of any denomination or a gift certificate at the cashier station.
Please send checks to Heartland Café, 7000 N. Glenwood, Chicago, Il 60626.
Now is the time. Thank you.
Photo courtesy of YoChicago.