The Scarlet Bee needs help! We're being uprooted!!
Matthew Sawaya is organizing this fundraiser.
Asheville, we need your help now more than ever. This past year has been incredibly hard for many of us. As a fairly new restaurant we felt the financial blow immediately and knew it would be a miracle if we could keep the business going on only takeout orders. But with some aid from the government and a lot of support from our local community, we managed to scrape by. Just as our community has supported us, we wanted to make sure our landlords that we once thought of as family were taken care of as well. One of our landlords has been in increasingly worse health the past couple years, and requires expensive medications to aid their pain. With this knowledge, we made a choice that no matter how much we got behind on our utilities and taxes, we were going to pay our rent so they could afford those medications. During the worst months, that was half of our monthly income. As vaccines started being distributed and restrictions loosened, we began to be hopeful again that we just might be able to fully reopen and rebound through 2021. Unfortunately and to our disbelief, this older couple have just stripped away that possibility in an instant. Our lease term had just ended as of March 1st with a verbal agreement that we could rent month to month as we negotiated new rental terms. $1,000 a month increase in rent is hard to swallow after the roughest financial year we had ever endured. But once we heard of a new government grant to assist restaurants, we thought we could make it work and climb out of debt through the rest of the year. But to our dismay, they decided to sign a contract with another more established restaurant. We pleaded with them, and couldn't comprehend how they would uproot us, as they used to refer to us as son and daughter. We chose to show compassion to the wrong people, and are now in a dire situation. We have until April 30th to be out of the building. With out an operating business, we will no longer qualify for the new government grant. No way to generate income, no way to pay off our debts, and no sign of hope.
Asking for financial help is always hard to do, but we don't have any other options at this point. Please, if you are in a position to assist us in any way, we will be forever grateful.
We will be reopening for dine in April 1st to try and generate as much income as possible before we have to leave. Please come enjoy one last meal, one last cocktail, and one last goodbye with us. Our community has stood by us more than we ever imagined since opening on May 24th 2018. We will miss seeing you dancing as the 42nd Street Band brought the house down on Friday nights. We will miss the laughter, the smiles, the stress, and the rewards of owning a restaurant in such a special city. Will we find a new location? Maybe. Will we open a food truck? Maybe. But right now, the only thing we know for sure, is that we need your help to make either of those options remotely possible.