The Town Pump lives to fight another day.
The iconic Old Town Fort Collins bar that was weeks away from closing twice in 2020, raised nearly $95,000 in a few days through a GoFundMe page, blowing by its owner’s $75,000 goal to pull it back from the edge of disaster.
Donations ranged from $5 to $5,000. Once owner Jake Latendresse pays the bills and sees what the future holds in terms of COVID-19, he said any donations beyond the $75,000 goal may be paid forward to other Old Town businesses that need help.
“We have no idea what’s going to happen and what the actual cost will be if things don’t get better any time soon, but we will do something very wise and helpful to the community,” Latendresse said.
The GoFundMe page went live Wednesday and by Friday morning it had exceeded its goal.
“Sometimes the $5 donation may even mean more to us in terms of emotional impact,” Latendresse said. “We know that may be all they can give and they’re literally reaching into their pocketbooks and giving us everything they can. That says a lot about that person.
“People who can afford it that write a big check … that is super generous,” he said. “Some were anonymous and that says even more. They’re not standing on a pedestal saying ,‘hey, look at me.’ “
As contributions poured in to save the city’s smallest and oldest bar, the county eased restrictions on indoor dining allowing 25% of capacity as part of Larimer County’s return to Colorado’s looser “Level Orange” COVID-19 restrictions, which will also help, Latendresse said.
The reduced capacity means Town Pump will be able to seat 11 to 12 people inside the 416-square-foot bar.
“There’s no question it will help get some people inside where it’s warm,” Latendresse said.
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Pat Ferrier is a senior reporter covering business, health care and growth issues in Northern Colorado. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a subscription today.