Meet Barry. And Karin. And their bar, The Red Hook Bait & Tackle.
Many of you have probably had a beer here. Or many beers here.
It's a classic dive bar on the waterfront in the rough-and-tumble neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn. We have shipping and industry mixed with artists, small-business and iconoclasts. There is no shortage of quirky characters here, but what defines Red Hook is the community spirit and true sense of being a village even as we look across at lower Manhattan.
The Bait & Tackle is one of the primary gathering spots for this tight-knit community - the heart and soul, for many. It hosts fundraisers, music, art events, after-work beers and so much more.
Until Sandy came. Sandy was just the kind of patron you don’t want at your bar – even a bar like the Bait & Tackle. She flooded the place, smashed it up, tried to steal all the booze and then didn’t even pay her tab.
Seriously, who does that?
A Category 1 hurricane, apparently.
Now Karin and Barry must try to rebuild, like so many other businesses across New York City. Their entire basement was flooded and the water line came up another three feet in the bar. They lost heat. They lost power. They lost inventory and equipment. Their refrigeration. They lost nearly everything.
But, in true Red Hook spirit, the Bait & Tackle has been open every day of the storm, creating a community gathering place and helping to bring everyone together to face the devastation. Most of Red Hook still has no power, no heat, no water. The Bait & Tackle, and everyone else, has been running their recovery effort with generators, quickly dwindling gas supplies, a hope, a prayer and a helluv a lot of community spirit.
So we're preparing to (re)Build a Better Bar and community gathering spot. Your pledge will help them redo the electrical, fix the floors, repair the bar and basement and take care of all the amazing taxidermy on the walls. Toast Karin, Barry and the Red Hook spirit and have a “virtual beer” with them by pledging today.
Risks and challenges
Rebuilding a business in a storm-devestated area is never easy. There is a lack of infrastructure to contend with plus the fact that everyone else is also needing the same resources. But the Bait & Tackle was one of the first businesses to invest in this neighborhood. At one time, it was the only place for people to meet and get a drink. Red Hook is different now -- more shops, more restaurants, more people -- but the Bait & Tackle has stayed open and constant. We know we can make it through the challenges of getting open without any resources because we did it once already.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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