The needler in the haystack.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Help reopen restaurant damaged in demolition

The damaged and closed Mi Buenaventura restaurant.
(Image courtesy David Rutherford, see his coverage of the demolition here.)

Plainfield restaurant owner Maria Rosa's Mi Buenaventura was damaged by falling debris during the North Avenue demolition on Saaturday, March 21, and has been closed ever since.

She is planning a move to a new location on North Avenue, directly across from the train station, and expects to open in early May.

In the meantime, she needs help financing the move.

The Tri-County Latino Coalition of NJ (TLCNJ) has stepped up to the plate by organizing a fund drive at the online funding site gofundme (see here). They are promising that all funds raised will go directly to Maria Rosa. A confusing sentence at the end of the pitch seems to indicate that contributions will not be tax-deductible as TLC is a "non-profit & not an official charitable organization".

There has been some "blaming of the victim" that I have heard because Maria did not have business interruption insurance. As someone who started a business from scratch, I can sympathize with her situation.

In the first place, no one knows what kind of advice she was given when setting up her business over thirty years ago, in a location that probably look that promising but was undoubtedly inexpensive to locate in.

What we could use, instead of finger-pointing, is some sign of assistance from the business community -- the SID, the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations. To date, there has been noticeable silence from these "friends". Why?

As a community that has always prided itself on supporting one another, I hope to see the business community step up to the plate and offer some help.

In the meantime, you can help. Take a moment to go to the website (here) and make a donation of whatever size to see that Maria Rosa can get back up and running.

I hate to end on a sour note, but I wish that Norman Ortega, who sent me an email on Sunday to advise this effort, would learn to stick strictly to the facts and not "spin" everything. In his email he opened with the line "after the city's destruction of Mi Buenaventura..."

The restaurant was damaged by falling debris. The demolition was done as a result of a declared emergency. Could it have been done better? Who knows? Was the damage a conscious act of destruction? How does Ortega know that? The insurance companie(s) will -- eventually -- parcel out the various portions of responsibility between the parties and make a settlement and life will go on.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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