New York City is home to a lot of great veg eateries. Vegans and vegetarians recently celebrated all of the animal-free eats at the second annual NYC Vegetarian Food Festival! But now, one of the city’s veg restaurants has hit some financial trouble and is hoping to raise funds to stay open.
Kate’s Joint, owned by Kate Halpern and located in the East Village, is facing eviction. According to VegNews, the restaurant and bar was opened in 1996 and is most well-known for its vegan buffalo wings, the only veg wings to score a spot on New York Magazine’s “five best chicken wings” list.
In order to avoid being evicted, Halpern has launched a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo in hopes of raising $30,000 in donations. Her fundraiser page says, “Kate’s Joint, vegetarian restaurant and bar, has been a staple in New York City’s East Village since 1996. Solely owned and operated by neighborhood native Kate Halpern, who dreamt to create an affordable restaurant to serve the community she grew up in. Kate’s Joint has grown to become much more than just a business, it is a home for locals and travelers a like, a place to bring family and friends, and to meet new ones.”
She adds, “Eviction notices have been sent, court appearances have been made, and if a substantial amount of money is not raised by April 11th, the next court date, the doors will shut permanently at Kate’s Joint. The East Village will lose another neighborhood landmark…This is not just about saving Kate’s Joint; it is about preserving the East Village. It is about preserving small, female owned businesses. Don’t let Avenue B turn in to a row of Starbucks and banks; help keep small businesses alive!”
Along with raising donations, Halpern is also looking for loans and investors. The $30,000, if raised, will all go toward paying rent. If she manages to stay in business, Halpern says she plans to improve Kate’s Joint by adding in a bakery section with vegan and gluten-free treats.
With ten days left in the campaign, just over $1,100 has been raised. Donors can receive perks like Kate’s Joint’s famous buffalo wings, a t-shirt or a dinner. Larger donations can even get you a cooking class, a meal prepared by Kate for a party at your home, or one meal at the restaurant each day for a year!