Iconic Seattle cafe struggling to stay afloat

KING 5's Jenna Hanchard reports.

SEATTLE -- Kurt Geisel and his employees have coined a new name for their neighborhood.

“We call this Rosetown because we’re not really U District and we’re not really Roosevelt.”

But they are Café Racer.

"The best art bar in the world," said Geisel who described the café as a bad art museum, an escape from gentrification and a place for anyone who needs to warm up from the Seattle Freeze.

"I believe it says on the menu, ‘If you want your food in five minutes go to McDonalds if you don't want anyone to talk to you go to Starbucks."  

It’s a café struggling to find it pulse again.

As mass shooting in 2012 was the first punch

"We've done a really good job of moving beyond that and the situation we're in now doesn't have anything to do with,” said Geisel

That situation, the second punch was construction on the Roosevelt corridor.

"They re-paved all of Roosevelt they took away a lot of parking they put in a bike lane but it took months and months and months. A lot of the problem is I've gone into debt because of it because of the drop of business during the day," said Geisel.

 He set up a GoFundMe page to keep his doors from closing for good.

"Fifty thousand is what we're asking for and that's about half the debt."  

Word about hard times has spread and that’s why people like Jennifer Huff came in on Saturday.

"We're in a city that's getting progressively more and more gentrified and having small locally owned businesses that have a lot of character and local flavor is part of real Seattle. I think it's something we all want to preserve," she said.

Geisel says he appreciative of the support. He has already raised more than $15,000. 

 

Copyright 2016 KING


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