Skip to main content

A restaurant is using GoFundMe to stay open during the pandemic

The fundraiser says, "Just as they (the restaurant owners) have been there for you in challenging times, we ask you to come together for them."

A Minneapolis restaurant is turning to Go undMe to help it raise money to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

A slew of restaurants in Minnesota and across the country are closing due to financial strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and capacity restrictions put in place to help prevent the spread of the virus. 

And while some have chosen to temporarily close for winter or are getting creative with outdoor dining in hopes of surviving the pandemic, The Harriet Brasserie is taking a different route.

A local resident created a GoFundMe page to help financially support the Linden Hills restaurant, which is not far from Lake Harriet, so it can stay afloat until restaurants are given the OK to open at full capacity (currently, the state is restricting capacity to 50% of fire code, up to 250 people).

Harriet Brasserie faces a "financial and existential challenge," the page says, noting COVID-19 has limited opportunities for people to gather and the momentum from the summer has slowed, reducing the restaurant's operating income, which operates on a slim profit margin even in the best of times. 

"With considerably reduced guests through the short-term future, they need our support to help keep the bills paid and the lights on until they can reopen at full capacity as before," the page says. 

While many restaurants are facing similar financial struggles, the Go Fund Me page creator, Felicity Britton, points out all the things the Harriet Brasserie owners Fernando and Kalinka Silva have done for the community since opening the restaurant nearly 10 years ago.

"Now it's our chance to give back and thank them for supporting our community by showing community support for this neighborhood business," the page says, noting "You’re not just investing in a business, you’re investing in the community."

The Silvas rarely took a day off so they could live out their dream of building a neighborhood brasserie, the page says. Over the years, the restaurant has connected with the community, donating gift cards to local organizations and supporting citywide causes and events.

Then, when the state-ordered lockdown forced restaurants to close, Harriet Brasserie offered curbside pickup despite it not being very financially viable, the page says. When restaurants could re-open to dine-in customers, the restaurant sponsored local musicians on the sidewalk a few days a week.

"Now, just as they have been there for you in challenging times, we ask you to come together for them," the page says. 

The Silvas shared the GoFundMe page on the restaurant's Facebook Wednesday, saying: "We are humbly asking for your support in keeping our life dream viable through this unprecedented times, and for that we are thankful."

The goal of the fundraising page is to encourage people to make whatever donation they can afford, calling each contribution "priceless."

The Go Fund Me has a goal of raising $150,000 for the restaurant. As of 10 a.m. Thursday – less than a day after it was created – the page had raised $4,535 with donations from 21 people.

Next Up

Willmar Police Department

Police: Suspect arrested in Willmar after firing gun at officer

The incident led to a manhunt that lasted into early Sunday morning.

Monti Ossenfort

Vikings lead off general manager interviews with Monti Ossenfort

Several candidates will interview for the job this week.

Payton Willis

Gophers' rally comes up short, lose to Iowa

The Gophers came back from a 23-point deficit but couldn't complete the comeback.


Firefighters respond to smoke-filled cabin to find man asleep inside

A wood stove was determined to be the cause of the smoke.

snow plow msp airport

MSP snowplow drivers reach contract agreement after threatening strike

Teamsters Local 320 reached an agreement with the Metropolitan Airports Commission Saturday.

Kellen Moore

What you should know about the Vikings' head coach candidates

Seven candidates were revealed on Saturday morning.

20211010_Vikings_Lions_REG05_1119 (2)

What is the next Minnesota Vikings GM inheriting?

A look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Vikings' roster and situation


Man dies after being 'punched in the head' during altercation in Duluth

A 46-year-old man is in custody and facing 1st-degree manslaughter charges.

Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders says Zimmer, Spielman hadn't spoken 'in months'

Sanders' comments revealed some of the Vikings' issues last season.

police tape, crime scene

Brooklyn Park man pleads guilty in 2020 fatal drive-by shooting

Devon Manley will be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.


al's breakfast

Al's Breakfast, Grand Ole Creamery ask for help staying afloat during pandemic

Al's Breakfast and the Grand Ole Creamery are seeking help fro patrons to stay in business.

al's breakfast

Minneapolis joint named to Esquire's list of restaurants we can't lose

Al's has been fundraising to stay afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

gandhi mahal destroyed

Destroyed in the riots, Gandhi Mahal will open temporary restaurant

The day after the restaurant burned, owner Ruhel Islam said "let my building burn" and called for justice for George Floyd.


Under pressure of pandemic, new restaurant opens in the north metro

The venue will someday allow for live music and events.


Shakopee will allow restaurants to use green spaces to serve customers

The order allows other businesses to use outdoor spaces, too.

Screen Shot 2020-05-08 at 2.08.17 PM

There's no place like The Gnome: St. Paul restaurant opens this summer

A new restaurant will also occupy the former Blackbird space in Minneapolis.

harriet's inn

Harriet's Inn building in south Minneapolis for sale

The restaurant opened in 2015 and appears to have been closed since the start of the pandemic.