The owners of Bella Luna Restaurant and Milky Way Lounge have launched a public GoFundMe campaign to pay off thousands of dollars in debt.
Carol Downs, one of the five owners, explained why they're asking the public's assistance to pay off their debts.
"In 2009 we moved our business from 405 Centre Street to 284 Amory Street due to a huge rent increase. That relocation, the build-out of our new space, and the interest on those loans, cost over $1,000,000. We have been working since then to pay off that debt. We were expecting to make our final loan payment next year in 2021. Our abrupt closing on March 16, 2020 has left us owing the remaining balance on our bank loan plus over two hundred thousand dollars to vendors, many of whom are small local businesses," wrote Downs on the Bella Luna 27 Campaign GoFundMe page.
The goal of the Bella Luna 27 campaign, named so because the business was open for 27 years, is to raise $75,000 to pay off their debts. Downs asked for people to donate $27 for every year the restaurant and lounge was open. So $27 for one year, $54 for two years, and so on, but any donation is welcome. Downs said 10% of the $75,000 will go directly to their former employees.
"This is not how we wanted our story to end. But we are filled with love and gratitude for the many staff, guests, promoters and partners who helped make our ‘hospitality with a purpose’ a vibrant reality for so many years. Thank you for sharing your memories and stories with us, and thank you for considering helping us at this difficult time," wrote Downs.