power up bar toronto

Popular Toronto gaming bar is trying to raise $100K to stay open

A console lounge that's gained in popularity over the last few years is now trying to raise $100,000 in order to stay open.

"Power Up Bar is Canada's longest running console lounge facing dire conditions due to Covid-19," reads a GoFundMe page.

"With the bills piling up and not being [able] to operate, it's not looking good for this one of a kind place. Running through reserves and not getting assistance from programs promising to help small businesses. I am hoping the community we've built can take care of Power Up!"

The page details how during the pandemic the bar tried offering takeout and doing pop-ups unsuccessfully, saying a larger business "commandeered" the patio space they were hoping to use during the summer.

"In December we had a large part of our ceiling collapse due to an upstairs neighbour being negligent, and repairs have been slow going with restrictions. The insurance has also gone up by 80% specifically because its a restaurant," reads the GoFundMe.

"We have estimated the goal based on the ongoing costs we need to operate. Things like paying staff, rent, reopening inventory and costs to the government so we can hopefully weather the remaining months of the pandemic and reopen once it is safe to do so," Bar Manager Jessica Pereira DeGeer told blogTO.

"This would help with our ceiling repairs after the water damage to our space due to our upstairs neighbours. We're operating as efficiently as we can given the circumstances but bills still need to get paid and those are adding up fast. We are doing our best to make sure Power Up can survive and adapt and continue to be a special place for everyone to visit."

The fundraiser was only created on Feb. 23, but has already raised around $7,000 of their $100,000 goal.

"We know our community is awesome but we also recognize everyone is being massively affected by COVID, physically, mentally and financially. It's also crazy that we’re seeing support even outside our immediate community with people just wanting to support small business," says Pereira DeGeer.

"We're even seeing some support internationally already with a few of the people that have visited us in the past years from other countries trying to help out. We're eternally grateful for everything we've received so far and can't thank everyone enough. We just want to push and work hard here and now to try and save what we have built for so many years."

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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