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Midtown Coffee House Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Stave Off Possible Closure

The Bottom Line has until the end of the month to raise $8,000

The Bottom Line Brenna Houck
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

A favorite Midtown coffee shop, The Bottom Line Coffee House, is looking to friends and patrons for help keeping the doors open. The shop located on Third Street known for its cozy cafe environment and art-centered events, recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to help settle a large debt threatening the business.

During its first few years of operation, The Bottom Line faced several setbacks including weather-related temporary closures and unpredictable seasonal hours (a result of the fluctuating foot traffic around Wayne State University). However, the cafe has also made some big strides towards financial stability since owners Pat and Al Harris brought on manager Noura Balout in December 2014. Since then, Ballout has become a full partner in the business.

“We’re sustaining ourselves. We’re essentially current on everything and we’ve repaid all of our loans,” says Ballout. One major roadblock standing in the way is an old debt accrued by previous management. Balout says they worked out a repayment plan but needs around $12,000 by the end of the month to meet the terms of the agreement. So far the campaign has raised just over $4,600.

When Eater first spoke with Ballout in 2014, they expressed an interest in developing the cafe into not just a place to drink coffee but a safe community space for people of all identities. The cafe is known for hosting grassroots fundraisers and supporting local artists — something the owners hope to do more of in the coming year.

Ballout says they have been staggered by the initial outpouring of support from fans of The Bottom Line. “I didn’t know to what extent this place has changed so many peoples lives over the past couple of years, so that fact has made me confident that we can make it.”

An upcoming benefit for the cafe is scheduled for January 14 at Trixie’s Bar in Hamtramck and the owners are planning another event for either January 28 or January 29.

Save The Bottom Line [GoFundMe]

Bottom Line Coffee House Benefit [Facebook]

The Bottom Line Rolls Out Saturday Morning Cartoons and Collaborative Events [ED]