The Colonnade is Latest Atlanta Institution Asking For Patrons To Fund its Survival

Will longstanding southern-style eatery see the same success as Manuel's Tavern with its new GoFundMe?
The Colonnade is Latest Atlanta Institution Asking For Patrons To Fund its Survival - GoFundMe
Photo: Official

As it heads into its 94th year in business, The Colonnade is jumping on the GoFundMe bandwagon, hoping to drum up financial support amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. The longstanding southern eatery is the latest Atlanta institution seeking help from patrons on the crowdfunding site following an overwhelming success by Manuel’s Tavern to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars within days of taking its campaign live.

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“A GoFundMe was launched five hours ago to save the historic Atlanta restaurant, The Colonnade, known for their Southern comfort foods,” a GoFundMe spokesperson in an email Wednesday told What Now Atlanta. “The owners, Jodi and David, are trying to make ends meet during this unprecedented time and with sales are down 60-70% while costs have increased, every dollar raised will go to help The Colonnade survive the next few months.”

The momentum for The Colonnade’s fundraiser seems on par with that of Manuel’s Tavern. So far, the restaurant has banked over $5,000 with a goal of $100,000. “If you can, please donate to this fund,” Suzi and Robbie, the unidentified creators of the GoFundMe, wrote in the campaign’s brief. “Every dollar will go to help The Colonnade survive the next few months. The loss of The Colonnade, which is imminent without financial relief, would be a significant blow to Atlanta. Please help if you can!”

The organizers kicked off the fundraiser by making a $1,000 contribution of their own. “This Atlanta landmark has provided delicious food and fellowship for three generations of my family and countless others,” Suzzie and Robbie wrote. “I can’t imagine Atlanta without the Colonnade…”

This isn’t the first time The Colonnade has asked for financial support. In March, the restaurant launched a small GoFundMe, but with a different mission: to provide its staff with cash while restaurants were required to temporarily shutter.

“We have seen an immense amount of global support on GoFundMe as communities band together across the globe to fundraise for the most vulnerable,” the GoFundMe spokesperson said. “Approximately 60% of COVID-related fundraisers started in the US between March and August were for small businesses. Through these last nine months, we have continued to see an increase in GoFundMe campaigns for restaurants and their staff who have been laid off due to the closures and social distancing measures in place. Everyone has been affected by the pandemic to varying degrees. It’s been inspiring to see how people are still lifting each other up through giving.”

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

12 Responses

  1. 94 years, really???
    These restaurants, like Manuel’s, that owned their own building, and have been making bank for eons– Don’t get my sympathy.

    I have a cafe tenant who has been in business for five years.
    From a business standpoint, he knew when, and how, to pivot.
    He’s doing just fine at the moment.

    1. I.P. Just for your information the owners of The Collanade don’t own the building. I can’t believe you would make a statement you really know nothing about. Nobody is asking for your sympathy.

  2. Once again just like Manuel’s we have a restaurant who:

    Stayed completely closed for months instead of adapting
    Has a majority aging/compromised clientele
    Did not pivot business operations or pivot to take out only

    Zero sympathy from me. Why should I support their bad choices?

  3. I would love to give the Colonnade my business to keep them going but as many of us struggle, a meat & 3 has gone up to $20 there before tax, tip, etc. Cheshire Bridge already lost the Red Snapper last week but the prices have escalated compared to what the Colonnade has been. Smaller portions, adjust prices to get customers back.

  4. I agree with the other posters, I have no sympathy for these businesses that didn’t get creative. My neighbor has a small restaurant that’s been in business 25 years. She quickly figured out how to pivot with ideas like weekly meal “kits”, curbside pickup, she added shades to her patio in the summer and heaters for the cooler months, and sold 36 Turkey dinners for Thanksgiving. She is on track to have a great year financially, despite the pandemic. I’ll also add, she did all this zero rent relief from her land lord, North American Properties, as they would not accommodate any tenants in her center and a modest PPP loan she hopes to repay in the first quarter of 2021.

  5. I’ve enjoyed a few great meals at Colonnade and hope they survive.

    People saying screw them for not making an agile pandemic pivot is pretty d*ckish.

    1. Meh, I’ve been called worse.
      And I’m certainly not calling for anyone’s failure– and maybe I have GoFundMe fatigue.

      I’ve watched several businesses that have pivoted, twisted, and turned just to stay in business
      during this challenging time. And they’ve done so without passing the virtual hat around.

      I would think that these two Atlanta ‘institutions’ would have the resources/insight/connections/equity to figure this out without asking for a bailout from their patrons.

      I can also understand the importance of community, as Letmesaythis points out.

  6. I think the GoFundMe for iconic Atlanta restaurants speaks to maintaining a sense of ‘community’ and the ‘built environment.’ If Krystal’s on Piedmont road did a GoFundMe to save the business, I do not believe I would sense the same level of community as I do from The Colonnade or Manuel’s. I believe the GoFundMe’s are warranted from the big picture point of view.

  7. I donated. I have too many memories over too many years not to chip in to (hopefully) see them make it through this.

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