Community-Backed Fundraiser to Help Black N Brew Relocate Is Shut Down
Black N Brew, a popular coffee house in South Philadelphia, will close its doors in February due to the landlord, Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation (PARC), refusing to renew their lease with two months’ notice. The closure has sparked outrage on social media, with customers and neighbors questioning why such a celebrated fixture of the avenue would be thrown out of the building on such short notice. Local community members and supporters set up a GoFundMe page for Black N Brew’s future relocation efforts, which raised over $7,000 towards its $10,000 goal. However, the organizers shut down the online fundraising effort just over a week after it was created, stating that they would refund all donations back to the original donors.
The owners owe tens of thousands of dollars in state taxes, interest, and fines dating back to 2018 up to last month. Jennifer DeCesare told The Inquirer that the unpaid taxes are a separate issue and have nothing to do with making their monthly rent payment. PARC cites the reason for not renewing Black N Brew’s lease as the DeCesares’ failure to pay back rent and utility bills that had not been repaid since the early years of the COVID-19 pandemic when the revitalization nonprofit provided the coffee house with discounted rent and utility waivers. After years of negotiations, including two one-year lease extensions, PARC decided to not renew the coffee house’s lease in February. The DeCesares claim they paid back PARC in full, but a case of identity theft led them to mistakenly send out personal checks from Colleen’s account, which they say may have been missed by PARC.
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Source: Coffee Talk