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Mickey’s Diner Among Bars and Restaurants Seeking Donations to Survive Shutdowns

Mickey’s Diner is one of the most recognizable places to get a bite to eat in Minnesota. But for how much longer? The iconic St. Paul eatery was open around the clock until the pandemic and state shutdowns closed the doors, off and on ever since.

Now Mickey’s has become perhaps the most high profile Twin Cities restaurant turning to fans for online donations to survive with a GoFundMe page.

The pandemic, long stretches without indoor dining, downtown attractions, and events, have left historic Mickey’s Diner struggling to keep the ember glowing. Mickey’s took the pandemic seriously and suspended 24/7 service for the first time in its 80 year history. Please consider supporting the continuing efforts of this local, national and historic landmark to keep its sign glowing over St Paul now and for the future.

The campaign has raised an amazing amount of $70,000 to date, $20,000 more than owner Bert Mattson’s goal.

To set up this fundraiser and witness the magnitude of outreach and support and generosity is humbling, honestly. Overwhelming. To see anxiety about all the uncertainties turning to confidence would have been hard to imagine. Thank you so much for your support.

The Pioneer Press reports crowdsourcing has become the norm for an increasing number of St. Paul bars and restaurants. Fans of the Grand Ole Creamery have kicked in some $22,000 of the shop’s $150,000 goal to remain in business.

The GoFundMe page says the restaurant is running out of options after a loss of 75 percent of sales after mandated closures during the pandemic. Efforts to secure city and state COVID crisis aid have been unsuccessful and hundreds of thousands of dollars that have been taken out in loans means repayment with interest is looming, the page states.

Another well-known St. Paul culinary destination puts it this way on its GoFundMe page.

Like many others in the industry, Sakura is struggling mightily to stay afloat.  They have had to cut down staff tremendously and as the days go by, with no dine-in, no bar sales, and delivery services taking 30% commission from sales, the bills become harder and harder to pay.

So far, Sakura has raised $14,500 toward a goal of $75,000. It’s not clear if Gov. Tim Walz’s order allowing restaurants and bars to reopen at 50 percent of capacity next week will be in time to save the many businesses on the brink or whether it’s too little, too late. In the meantime, look for GoFundMe sites to become a necessary component of more restaurants’ business plans.

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