Tomorrow, 8 am
Support Local! Magdalene Lebanese Restaurant Fundraiser in Williamsburg!
We are reaching out to our community and fellow patrons for help. As many of you know, I opened Magdalene in 2020 , two weeks before the Covid Lockdown. I have spent the last 3 years struggling to survive. As you can see, we are open, so all that hard work paid off! But just when we thought we could simply run a neighborhood cafe with out the looming worries of a pandemic, my landlord has decided she no longer wants me here. At first, I didn’t think I had any more fight in me for yet another year of waking up in fear. But…..When I come to work and see my customers sincere love and appreciation that I am here, I decided I should at least try to keep this going even if it means a grueling court battle. I would not pursue any lawsuit unless I believed and my lawyer believed we are in the right. My landlord wants to terminate the lease that we signed back in 2019. Landlords often do this because they assume their tenants can not afford to fight so they play this dirty game in hopes that struggling tenants can not afford to hire a lawyer. My lawyer tells me that almost all of these cases settle, and we have made repeated efforts to do so, but all have been rebuffed. She just wants me out, perhaps to rent the place for more money after I spent over $500K on improvements to her property. I have already spent well over 30K in legal fees… money I could have used to add heaters outside, expand the kitchen, or even hire a manager. This is why you see me and my children at the restaurant working 6 days a week and sometimes longer.
I never thought I would be writing this to ask for your financial help, but I simply can not fight this alone.
Small business owners like me are a dying breed. Restaurants are run by restaurant groups with deep pockets. I started this restaurant as a single mom and put my life savings into this. I don’t fit in any category. There are no big investors to call for aid. All I wanted to do was celebrate the food of my childhood growing up in Texas with a Lebanese father. After these last few years, it feels like I am being punished for starting something with out going the corporate or conventional route. I hope we can all recognize that we are losing the essential qualities that make any neighborhood special and unique.
That said, I ask you humbly to support me by donating to my GoFundMe page and to join us this Sunday to celebrate community!