The Frogmore's website says it will be serving brunch soon, adding another offering to its takeout and indoor dinner menu. But it appears brunch will not be on the menu, as the restaurant announced it will be closing this weekend. On Sunday, The Frogmore posted a video of a watermelon margarita melon being poured into a cup -- letting customers know that the tasty drinks are baaaaack. Then on Tuesday they posted a farewell message on Instagram saying, "Come say farewell to the Frogmore! Don't be sad, we had 5 great years."
Restaurants are now allowed to have customers inside at a reduced capacity, and to help offset the loss of customers, outdoor seating has been expanded for many eateries. To help cover some of the costs for businesses due to the pandemic, JP Centre/South Main Streets is holding a fundraising campaign to pay for things such as outdoor seating. The campaign runs through July 22 and has a target goal of $40,000, and as of July 8 had raised $3,545. JP Centre/South Main Streets is also letting customers know that businesses are open by asking them to put an orange balloon outside of their location. Business owners David Doyle of a trio of restaurants Tres Gatos, Little Dipper, and Casa Verde, and David Warner of City Feed & Supply, recently partnered to purchase the required jersey barriers (water-filled) for outdoor seating areas.
The site of the dive bar The Drinking Fountain is for sale, and being advertised as a good opportunity for developers. The building was posted on zillow.com in early June and has already seen a price cut of $20,000 on June 30, and is now listed for $1,575,000. Located at 3520 Washington St., and 5,793 square feet, it also includes two residential units above the old bar with 4 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, two parking spaces, and was built in 1900, according to zillow.com. "For a bar owner, catering service or a restauranteur, this is a rare opportunity to own your own space and have monthly rental income from the residential units above to boot," says the zillow.com listing. The listing also notes the property is located in the Plan: JP/Rox study area, and a building may go up to 55 feet in height on the parcel.
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.
The impacts of the Coronavirus continue to be felt, as the popular Bella Luna Restaurant and Milky Way Lounge announced its permanent closure on Wednesday. In a June 17th Facebook post, the business owners outlined that not only the loss of money in the last several months deep sixed them, but also because social distancing goes against their business model. "The mission of our business is to gather people together in groups, to foster social closeness --the opposite of social distancing. Gathering in groups is not going to be a safe activity until there is a widely-available vaccine or treatment. We are not comfortable putting our team members and guests at risk of contracting the virus while working and dining in our space.