Alexa

Saving some favorite NYC places through online campaigns

Steve Olsen, the owner of the West Bank Café, reads the specials over the phone to a to-go customer in the empty restaurant, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, i...
A sign hanging at the box office of a Theatre advises patrons that the Broadway shows are suspended, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in the Hell's Kitchen neig...
A pedestrian walks past a boarded-up bar, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York. The boarded-up windows and For Rent s...
A sign at Rudy's Bar and Grill advises customers that they are temporarily closed, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New Yo...
Pedestrians walk past closed Theatres, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York. The boarded-up windows and For Rent sign...
A pedestrian walks past a vacant commercial property and graffiti calling on President Trump to be removed from office and arrested, Sunday, Jan. 10, ...
Steam rises from a dish as customers eat a meal on the sidewalk outside a restaurant, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New...
Menus are seen at the hostess station at a closed restaurant, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York. The boarded-up wi...
Pedestrians walk past a couple of closed restaurants on Restaurant Row, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York. The boa...
A to-go order is seen on the bar of the West Bank Café, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York. The boarded-up windows...
Rudy's Bar and Grill is boarded up, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York. The boarded-up windows and For Rent signs a...
A pedestrian walks past a closed theatre, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in New York's Times Square. The boarded-up windows and For Rent signs are all over th...
Steve Olsen, right, owner of the West Bank Café and Segundo Agueza take to-go orders over the phone in the empty restaurant, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, i...
Steve Olsen, left, owner of the West Bank Café, sends a to-go order to the kitchen as Janet Momjian works at the bar in the empty restaurant, Saturday...

Steve Olsen, the owner of the West Bank Café, reads the specials over the phone to a to-go customer in the empty restaurant, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, i...

A sign hanging at the box office of a Theatre advises patrons that the Broadway shows are suspended, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in the Hell's Kitchen neig...

A pedestrian walks past a boarded-up bar, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York. The boarded-up windows and For Rent s...

A sign at Rudy's Bar and Grill advises customers that they are temporarily closed, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New Yo...

Pedestrians walk past closed Theatres, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York. The boarded-up windows and For Rent sign...

A pedestrian walks past a vacant commercial property and graffiti calling on President Trump to be removed from office and arrested, Sunday, Jan. 10, ...

Steam rises from a dish as customers eat a meal on the sidewalk outside a restaurant, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New...

Menus are seen at the hostess station at a closed restaurant, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York. The boarded-up wi...

Pedestrians walk past a couple of closed restaurants on Restaurant Row, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York. The boa...

A to-go order is seen on the bar of the West Bank Café, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York. The boarded-up windows...

Rudy's Bar and Grill is boarded up, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York. The boarded-up windows and For Rent signs a...

A pedestrian walks past a closed theatre, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in New York's Times Square. The boarded-up windows and For Rent signs are all over th...

Steve Olsen, right, owner of the West Bank Café and Segundo Agueza take to-go orders over the phone in the empty restaurant, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, i...

Steve Olsen, left, owner of the West Bank Café, sends a to-go order to the kitchen as Janet Momjian works at the bar in the empty restaurant, Saturday...

NEW YORK (AP) — The boarded up windows and For Rent signs are all over the place in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, where restaurants are closed and businesses shuttered. Nearby, the Broadway theaters are all dark.

But the economic darkness brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has had a few bright spots: A couple of well-loved venues have received financial boosts to help them make it through, thanks to online fundraising campaigns and even a telethon.

Married couple Tom and Michael D’Angora, who live in Hell's Kitchen, first started a GoFundMe campaign on behalf of the West Bank Cafe/Laurie Beechman Theater.

It raised more than $340,000 after a streaming telethon that included performances by many of the Broadway actors and singers who frequent the West Bank Cafe.

“I’ve spent some of my most delicious, my most insouciant, my most important times right here," celebrated veteran actor Andre De Shields, who was performing in “Hadestown" before the virus hit, said during the telethon, before handing venue owner Steve Olsen a check. “We don’t want this lovely piece of heaven on earth to ever go away."

“We were a couple of weeks from really running out of money, and going out of business," Olsen said prior to the campaign.

But now, he's optimistic the venue he opened in 1978 can stay open until indoor dining and live performances return to the city.

Since then, the D'Angoras have started another campaign for jazz club Birdland, raising over $180,000. Owner Gianni Valenti predicted he would be able to stay open until the pandemic is over.

It's “very heartwarming to see the response we’ve had," Valenti said.

“I read through the list of people and I just love the fact that they care about Birdland, about the music and about what it means to New York that we all keep it going and hopefully down the road we’re back to normal,” he said.


Updated : 2021-04-14 21:53 GMT+08:00