Hampden’s Golden West Cafe has launched a GoFundMe in the hopes of buying the Avenue property where the restaurant is located.
The fundraising goal is $750,000, or most of the amount restaurant owner Samantha Claassen said she would need to place an opening bid on the property, which goes up for auction May 21. The property in question includes not only Golden West, but also neighboring restaurants Souvlaki and Philly Best.
News of the sale was first reported in the Baltimore Business Journal.
Though Claassen’s lease doesn’t expire until 2023, she told The Baltimore Sun last week that she worries that a new owner would raise the restaurant’s rent, currently set at $3,710 per month, according to the auction listing, and force it out of the location it’s called home since 2003.
Claassen said she and neighboring owners have sought traditional financing to buy the space, but have been turned down by banks leery of lending to restaurants amid the pandemic. “We are in a race against time and fighting to keep independent businesses like ours, alive,” she wrote in a message to prospective donors. As of early Tuesday evening, Golden West’s GoFundMe had raised over $3,000.