I'm reaching out to everyone with this personal note and request.
My family and I have been Upper West Siders for many years (23 to be exact!). Just over a year ago a new restaurant opened on the corner of West 85th St and Columbus – I’m guessing most of you know it: "The Consulate" www.theconsulate.nyc
That same location has been a restaurant over all of these years and even though the team, the management, the concepts were often circulating and/or changing, I have been always supporting their businesses in one way or another, but none more so than our friends at the new Consulate Restaurant. Despite their limited time here, they’ve done a VERY admirable job of building a great following, not only here on the UWS but within the whole upper half of Manhattan – a combination of very good, reasonably priced food, professional and fun staff, excellent service, and owners who did their very best to re-open the restaurant quickly after COVID hit to support the infrastructure of the neighborhood, all with a very real, minimal ability to make any profit.
As you're all well aware this 2020 “lost year of COVID” has so far has brought a lot of misery, insecurities, unexpected hardships, and struggles to local business people operating any type of business. The industry that probably got hit the hardest was the Hospitality (restaurant) segment, with many of these businesses on the edge of surviving (this is well evidenced by the many restaurants which have already closed – most of which aren’t coming back anytime soon.
As you also probably know, the current allowed restaurant capacity for indoor dining is limited to 25%, which is not even close to enough to cover their basic expenses without mentioning anything on the profit front at all. The restaurants are filled with people that are eager to work, to bring good service, to share kindness through their delicious menus, as we’ve seen exemplified every day at "The Consulate" as well as any other restaurants throughout the City. Despite all the hardships, interruptions, over-wrought regulations, greedy landlords, and obstacles from the current and ongoing pandemic "The Consulate" has been struggling to stay present for all of us in this neighborhood, keeping it up with the food quality and great service. I’ve gotten to know the owners Kiril and Miki well, and we’ve talked frequently about their commitment to keep the restaurant open thru this challenging time, and seeing them make significant additional investments to do so – even without guarantee of near-term future returns! The added threat of the City closing indoor dining, which will allow restaurant only to consider operating in “outside” structures just adds to the investment(s) they need to make to continue to operate thru this troubling time.
I feel like this is the right moment to reach out to everyone out there who have the spirit and willingness to continue to support this terrific family-operated restaurant and staff.
It is not only that "The Consulate" desperately needs the support right now (esp. after taking another hit two weeks or so with the sudden weekend wind-front that blew thru Sunday evening destroying one of the two outdoor seating areas – soon to be rebuilt!), but it's more like they could really use a helping hand from everyone that visited the place already (many of us many times), or hoping and planning to do so in near future. In a blink of time (only open 4 months before COVID hit and they were temporarily shut down!) this great new addition to UWS dining has become a real “local destination” – one that my family, friends and I don’t want to see added to the list of failed local businesses.
I think we’d all like to see them stay in the neighborhood, and I’m hoping to convince you to make any donation you can to help in this effort if you believe in this restaurant and the contributions it’s made both to this neighborhood and the City. I reached out to the owners and suggested the idea of initiating a GoFundMe page in their interest, and despite some initial reluctance on their part, I convinced them that we should do this to help ensure the longevity of the restaurant. As such, I would humbly and kindly ask to consider this especially given the brief amount of time they’ve been able to have their doors open, and the positive mark they’ve already left on the Upper West Side. For reference "The Consulate" had opened their doors for the first time on Nov 6, 2019 - they did not have a full season before the pandemic hit and destroyed so manybusinesses in the NYC area.
Please help me to keep this pearl of a local business in our community – any help you can offer, small or larger, would be greatly appreciated!
We're in this together!
With much gratitude, and a personal thank you from me,
- Derrick Showers
- Janet Borelli
- Stella Papavassiliu
- Alain Lufi
Organizer and beneficiary
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