Dear GrandLo Café Supporter,
We have made the difficult decision to close GrandLo Café as a restaurant because of the current economic and public health crisis. We are feeling the same business impact of all other restaurants, and the economics of the business are not sustainable at this time.
In the meantime, we will complete our cohort of job trainees remotely and we are dedicated to setting them on their career pathway, just like we have for the last two years.
We are planning—when we are able to reoccupy the space after the health emergency has lifted—to reopen as the GrandLo Café Community Resource Center
, with a focus on services to help neighborhood residents build resilience and rebound from the economic crisis. This will include connection to government benefits, entitlements, tax preparation, nutrition and food distribution, employment, and training, among other services. The basic layout and equipment in the café will be maintained.
We’re disappointed that we won’t be able to continue the restaurant, but in looking at our accomplishments, we can’t help but be proud. Over the last two years, GrandLo Café has served over 10,000 customers, held over 150 events, but most importantly, graduated over 100 job trainees and continues to place those graduates into jobs.
We wanted to write this statement to inform you about the closure, but mostly to say this:
Without you, we couldn’t have given so many young people a new outlook on life. We couldn’t have given them valuable job skills that changed their trajectory and pushed them towards their goals. You did that. By buying that coffee and that muffin, you made this happen. Thank you.
We also want to take this time to thank our incredible Board of Directors, our partners at Counter Culture Coffee, Catalyst Kitchens, and Lower East Side Employment Network, and our funders at The Cummings Foundation, Citi Foundation, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation and all those who have donated to our mission over the past two years.
For 104 years, Grand St. Settlement has faced challenges. We’ve grown and changed with the times and that’s exactly what we plan to do now. We’re excited about the potential of GrandLo Café Community Resource Center and we can’t wait to start this next phase with you by our side. We’ll keep you posted via social media and email about our next steps and hope that you’ll be there to support us.
The GrandLo Café Team at Grand St. Settlement