While some Atlanta restaurants are seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable support to weather the pandemic, the City’s newest GoFundMe — Bottle Rocket — has set a more modest goal. “The Cheers of The South,” a name given to the Castleberry Hill eatery by fundraiser organizer Kimberly Singleton, is looking to raise $20,000 before the end of the year to cover its taxes and liquor license renewal.
Within hours of launching the campaign Wednesday, Bottle Rocket has already netted $11,500 and is more than halfway there. “Bottle Rocket is one of those places where you just feel at home — and not just because of the “Cheers” vibe you feel immediately when you walk into the door,” Singleton writes on the campaign page. “From being one of the go-to spots after an Atlanta United match to ATL UTD player meet and greets to karaoke nights and some of the best sushi in Atlanta, Bottle Rocket has something for everyone.”
GoFundMe in recent weeks has become a popular mechanism for Atlanta restaurants to get a quick cash infusion while politicians continue never-ending relief discussions, and COVID-19 inoculations get underway. Venues like Manuel’s Tavern and The Colonnade have used their longstanding histories to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars from the crowdfunding site in a matter of days while less-established venues have struggled to bring in hundreds of dollars.
“The time has now come for us to give back to the guy who has given so much to all of us,” Singleton writes. “COVID- 19 has hit Bottle Rocket extremely hard this year. With the business being closed for months, restaurant restrictions, and slow business, [Owner] Josh is going to need a big push to keep him open. Taxes and liquor license are due by 12.31.20. Any little bit you can give to keep Bottle Rocket thriving and our favorite little restaurant/bar open would be greatly appreciated!”
Carrie Burns, the founder of Atlanta Movie Tours, alerted What Now Atlanta to Bottle Rocket’s campaign, asking for the publication’s support. “I’m still amazed that the City isn’t willing to work with our local restaurants on their liquor license renewals in lieu of the past year, but all we can do is champion for them, even in light of all of our own struggles.” Burns earlier this year made the decision to shutter the once-thriving tours business after an eight-year run, because, you guessed it — the pandemic.