Popular Des Moines eatery asks for donations after tough months

July 21, 2023 by No Comments

A popular Des Moines eatery has resorted to asking locals for donations to stay afloat. The restaurant in question is the Vietnam Cafe which is located in Merle Hay Mall. This news comes after the owner made an appeal on Gofundme. So far, they have raised over $6,300. However, the total of the campaign is asking for $15,000. So, there is still almost two thirds of the total to be raised.

According to the fund written by the owner Brenda Tran, she has ran the cafe since 2010 and claims, “In 2020, in order to survive the pandemic time, I borrowed $100,000 in SBA loans with 30 years payment. To keep my business open till now. I have even opened a boutique, hoping that will help my restaurant, but it’s not working like the way I planned it.”

Furthermore, she continued, “I’m tied down here with a 5-year lease signed 6 months ago, with a 50 percent rent increase, but customers have decreased drastically, so now I don’t make enough income to cover the new rent amount. I am behind on two months of rent, and currently I owe the mall nearly $10,000! In order for the mall to lower my rent, I have to pay off my past due. Because of the conditions in the mall, most of the business in the front of the mall with door access to the mall are closed . We barely get any customers to support our business.”

With this said, you can understand her struggle and the truth is that many Iowan malls are currently going through a difficult time. Unlike certain donation pages, this one also seems very legitimate. Thankfully, the good people of Des Moines have so far given their financial support. Nonetheless, there’s still a long way to go and if we’re being honest, the long-term future of the Vietnam Cafe doesn’t look bright.

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