As last-ditch effort, Cary tapas bar launches fundraiser to save business

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Catalan Tapas Bar is struggling to survive the pandemic.

Owner Jennifer Cramer didn't know what else to do so she started a GoFundMe page to help with operating costs and to pay her employees.

"This is it," she said Monday. "We won't be able to pay our bills, we're not going to pay our people and I don't know what else to do at this point. I slept on it, cried over the phone to my mom about it and this is the only thing I could possibly think of."

It has always been Cramer's dream to open a restaurant since she worked in bars and restaurants in New York and in Raleigh.

She and business partner Alan Wilmers took over the place off Northwest Cary Parkway in July of 2020 when it was dirt cheap.

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A number of things in the restaurant are from other places that had gone out of business.

They opened their doors in late 2020, hit their stride but then got hit by the Delta variant and now by Omicron.

The restaurant industry has no doubt continued to feel the brunt of the pandemic.

The National Restaurant Association said 88% of restaurants saw a decline in demand in recent weeks because of Omicron; 76% said they have seen a decline in business.

Cramer said she had to get a second job to pay her mortgage.

She's also written a letter to Congresswoman Deborah Ross urging the federal government to pass more in the way of relief for businesses like hers.

"This is my dream," she said. "This is what I've always wanted. I've been working since the day I turned 18."
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