WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS...
After painstakingly and barely surviving the 11-month-long indoor dining ban due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our tiny Hell’s Kitchen classic French restaurant was once again forced to close its doors on December 8th, 2021, right at the peak of our busy holiday season. The reason for this was because the Con Edison gas & electricity company of New York City shut down the building’s entire gas and demanded that the gas pipe network be completely replaced from basement to roof, including our kitchen’s plumbing system!
Since then (8 months and counting), my mother and I have been lost in a sea of bureaucratic red tape while dealing with New York City’s Department of Buildings, the Fire Department, Con Edison, and the plumbers. We’ve been filling out forms, sending requests for permits, and waiting weeks on end for necessary inspections to finally happen to make any forward moving progress toward re-opening our doors to our customers. And although our building’s owner has generously suspended our monthly rent while we cannot fully operate, our restaurant’s insurance has denied our claim of ‘loss of income’ because this was a building-wide issue…not a restaurant issue. Because, yeah…insurance companies.
During this exhaustive and extremely heartbreaking time, the funds that we received from the Federal Government by way of the PPP loans and the Restaurant Revitalization Grant, created to help us remain in business after the Covid crisis, has quickly depleted due to lack of revenue from customers and paying for ongoing expenses in order to hold on to our small business — a loss now totaling over $250,000.
Being a proud restauranteur family, my mother and I have held off for as long as we could before turning to a GoFundMe request…but now, alas, the time has come to humbly ask for your kind help to keep our “hyper-traditional” 62 year old restaurant safe from extinction in a city that has seen thousands of beloved neighborhood establishments disappear since 2020.
As we inch closer to hopefully getting our gas turned back on, we would like to detail that your generous donations that we receive here will contribute to the following costs in order to successfully reopen:
• Replacing our entire food inventory that had to be thrown away because of spoilage over the many months of being idle.
• Ongoing utility and corporate costs (taxes, permits, licenses, insurance) incurred during the shutdown.
• Expenses needed in order to re-open (cleaning, maintenance, supplies, etc.).
• Entirely replacing our exhaust chimney to final pass our inspection with the FDNY in order to have the gas turned back on, costing over $8000.
• And most importantly, enough funds to secure paying the wages of our incredibly loyal staff when they can return to work after so many months of unemployment.
Like Napoléon himself, we might be small, but our determination and will to combat this is strong; but we need your help to win this two-and-a-half-year-long battle to save our family business. My mother, Elyane, and I thank you in advance for any donations you can spare for our crowdfunding, no matter how large or small.
Merci et Bon Appétit!!!
Elyane & William
Chez Napoléon Restaurant, NYC