Support for Ermanos and Portal employees

Dear Ermanos and Portal community: Many of you have been asking how to support us during this time so that we are able to reopen. Sadly it is not economically feasible for us to pivot to a take-out business model, and, similarly, while we appreciate your generous appeals to sell you gift cards, we don’t believe this is a viable solution to dig out of this terrible hole. Today we decided to create a GoFundMe page for our employees. It is heartbreaking to see an entire industry of service employees out of work without income. We are not going to sugarcoat this tragic situation: we cannot afford to both reopen and also pay employees with no sales coming in because this would bankrupt the remaining funds we need to hold in reserve for mission critical items such as repurchasing food and paying a nausea-inducing level of overhead expenses that we are unable to stop even with our doors closed. We have encouraged our staff to apply for unemployment benefits but this provides only a fraction of the regular income needed for our staff to make ends meet. We recognize that everyone is suffering right now, so the decision whether or not to launch this GoFundMe is a major zugzwang: if we proceed, we represent that we believe that our continued existence and employees’ financial well being is more important than everyone else’s when the virus has taken the entire hospitality industry out of commission. If we don’t, our staff family could fall apart. Thus we would ask that you give to others in the service industry who you normally support as well, if you are able. The amount we are trying to raise is for a normal 2 week payroll, but even if this goal is not met, any amount will go a long way for our employees. 100% of proceeds will go to employees. As you know, we recently undertook a colossal reinvestment in our establishment with the launch of Portal Cocktails which opened 3 weeks ago. We went all in to execute a vision that provides a calming and convivial cocktail escape—ironically the built environment was specifically designed to give us all a much needed break from our everyday existence and stimulate the practice of mindfulness and meaningful conversation. Our goal has always been to be more than a restaurant, but a comfortable gathering place for you to hang out and enjoy with family and friends. Hang in there, we’ll be together again soon. Thank you for believing in us. Cheers, Mark and Eric Erman


Eric Erman
Tucson, AZ

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