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Kitchen Table asks customers to help with its financial woes

Kitchen Table asks customers to help with its financial woes

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Kitchen Table’s owners say after a rough winter and the difficulty of managing two locations, they need help to keep their restaurants running.

Owners Colin and Jessica Duggan are running a GoFundMe account to try and raise $80,000 to keep their doors open downtown at 1415 Farnam St. and inside Film Streams’ Dundee Theater, off 50th and Dodge Streets.

“We have gotten ourselves in a tricky spot,” co-owner Jessica Duggan said Friday. “We have a lot of regulars who have become family, and we’re hoping for some help.”

The couple said they liquidated their 401(k) to pay their staff and vendors, but have additional debt to other vendors, producers and their landlord, Film Streams. Duggan said the restaurant pays rent to the nonprofit theater.

Casey Logan, Film Streams’ deputy director, wouldn’t say what the restaurant pays in monthly rent. But he said the Duggans made the theater aware of the challenges they’re facing.

“We’re actively working together,” he said.

If Kitchen Table Central does close, Logan said the theater would look for a replacement restaurant to take over the space.

Duggan said no decision on the future of either location has been made. In the meantime, the restaurant has made menu and staffing adjustments, she said, to cut costs.

The Dundee Theater and Kitchen Table‘s second location opened in December 2017. The restaurant’s original downtown location opened four years earlier. The midtown location serves a streamlined menu in its dining room adjacent to the theater’s lobby.

The central location handles most of the restaurant’s baking operations, with other food prepared downtown. When it opened the second location, Kitchen Table doubled its staff.

Kitchen Table isn’t the first Omaha restaurant to try its hand at crowdfunding.

In 2014, the now-closed Localmotive food truck raised $50,000 on Kickstarter to fund the purchase of a new truck. The restaurant closed its truck and its Benson location in 2016.

The former McFoster’s Natural Kind Cafe, near 38th and Farnam Streets, asked customers to help pay off a $15,000 property tax bill in 2012. The cafe’s customers donated cash and attended a benefit dinner. The restaurant closed in 2014.