The content of this story and photos are from the GoFundMe Page for The Old Packinghouse House Cafe.
As reported on Saturday, June 18, 2016 by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, a 6 alarm fire nearly destroyed the 900 block of Packinghouse Road. Many local businesses were impacted, some more than others. Sadly, some businesses were severely impacted, and all was lost, including personal items. Fortunately, and most importantly, there was no loss of life.
J.R.’s Old Packinghouse Café suffered an extensive amount of exterior and structural damage. The restaurant lost an adjacent storage warehouse which contained restaurant equipment, inventory and furniture. Additionally, the restaurant took a big hit with the entire contents of the walk-in cooler and freezer, which contained all food and beverage inventory to supply the restaurant.
The money raised through Go Fund Me will be used to hire contractors, electricians and other professionals needed to repair and rebuild the structure. Then, Jesus Garraus (J.R.) will need to restock which will allow the restaurant to get back on its feet.
For those of you who do not know J.R. – he is a thoughtful and generous man. After the fire, with all that was happening…having to empty the cooler of thousands of dollars’ worth of food, he still thought about other people in need of a meal. He filled a Salvation Army’s truck to the max, so that 150 hungry people could have a hot meal that night, and going forward until the food runs out. A local Baptist church on Palmer also came by to pick up J.R.’s donated food and bread. Tubs of Cuban sandwiches were given away to surrounding neighbors. Dairy products were also distributed to those in need. That is J.R.; people friendly, community minded, always willing to help others.
Although, a re-open date has yet to be determined, we are shooting to be back in business by Oct. 1, 2016. We will keep you updated as to our progress.
We want to express our deep gratitude for all who have sent us their thoughts and prayers. Also, a big thank you to all who have already volunteered their time and have donated to our Rebuild, Restock, Rebound cause. Your effort and kindness are much appreciated….and still very much needed.
To Donate: www.gofundme.com/2aedb24
Header Photo – Staff Photo/Mike Lang / Top Photo /Rick Adams with ABC 7- Both Photos taken from GoFundMe Page & Old Packinghouse Cafe Facebook Page