Moby Dick fundraisers support bar, staff

  • by Jim Provenzano
  • Tuesday July 28, 2020
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Moby Dick Bar, with recent murals painted on its boarded doors and windows
Moby Dick Bar, with recent murals painted on its boarded doors and windows

Moby Dick, the popular Castro district bar, is raising funds for employees and the owners' expenses in two online fundraisers. Like nearly all businesses, they remain closed,

Wrote Moby Dick owner Joe Cappelletti in a recent Facebook post, "I hope the Federal government or city or state government is going to do more to help small businesses, or there won't be anything to open when it comes time to open. Our business has been there through thick and thin for over 40 years. It is an icon in the Castro. We have fans from every corner of the world, as do may other San Francisco small businesses."

As of this writing, the Employee Relief Fund has raised more than $9,000 of its $15,000 goal. Matthew Picon, the organizer, wrote, "If you're missing us as much as we're missing you, here's a way to help out your Moby Dick employees. Leave something if you can."

The bar's GoFundMe page, organized by owner Cappelletti, has so far (as of July 28) raised more than $13,000 of the $30,000 goal.

While national headlines showed large corporations, even megachurches, getting millions in aide, many small businesses in the Bay Area have been left out.

"It looks like the money ran out before we could get a PPP loan. We haven't heard back from the EDIL loan, so far crickets from the $10,000.00 grant," wrote Cappelletti in an update on the bar's GoFundMe page.

Cappelletti also answered queries about the possibility of re-opening the bar with required food service.

"The reason we aren't opening and partnering Is, it doesn't make business sense to do so. We wouldn't be able to cover the costs of opening the doors. We would be losing money. In order to open at a later date we need to conserve what money we have to sit through this horrible pandemic. ... There is nothing more that we all would like to do is open. Perhaps the more important thing to us is the safety of our employees, our regulars and everyone that enjoys coming to Moby Dick. There is a raging pandemic out there, it is not safe. I refuse to put anybody in jeopardy."

Other nearby bars and restaurants have tried cautious openings with outdoor seating. But with mandates for business closures changing frequently, it's not an option for most businesses (see related stories, linked below).

Donate to the fundraisers: