SAGUACHE— One of the businesses in downtown Saguache that has proven to be a major attraction for both tourists and locals could be closing its doors soon if help in way of donations is not received by Jan. 8 to avoid foreclosure.
The 4th Street Diner and Bakery contributes a major portion of sales taxes collected for the town. Patrons commend the restaurant for its “great food” and one patron described it as a “piece of Americana.”
A GoFundMe page was established last month to help raise an initial $3,000 in expenses for the diner, but owner Esther Last says the full amount needed to keep the restaurant open is $17,000. So far donations reported on the site have fallen far short of the $3,000 amount.
“We are so very fortunate to have developed and enjoyed this local treasure of a restaurant here in Saguache,” Last said in a Facebook post. She added she is “sorry and embarrassed” that unforeseen circumstances have led to the foreclosure, forcing her to solicit funds on the Internet to keep the restaurant open.
She pointed out that unless funds become available, the diner’s owners/employees will be out of work and some could be homeless.
“This year was a rough year as we still have debt from inventory purchases and equipment which broke down, plus monthly mortgage payments, payroll, medical care, utilities and taxes,” Last continues in her Facebook post. “I lost my son a year ago, Tom, who was one of our best cooks… Also, tourism was way down this year with many fires in the Valley. The loss of income has devastated our business.”
“I have drained my personal resources which lead to me not being able to continue my medication. I have applied for various Small Business Loans with little to no success and have reached a point in which I must make a choice to close the Diner and liquidate or reach out and ask for help. I am still currently looking for any sort of loans I can to save the Diner.”
As Last recounts, for almost eight years, the 4th Street Diner & Bakery has been a pillar in the community of Saguache, not just a small business. “The diner and bakery is a gathering place. Many of our customers are vacationers, and [this] is a place they return year after year. I love this community and I love the Diner,” Last concludes in her post. “It has been a dream for me.”
The diner has maintained its 19th Century ambience reflected in the unique eclectic décor and the menu offers selections that are truly homemade. Last uses all-natural ingredients for her recipes and buys her food locally, so the loss of the restaurant will impact other businesses as well.
Last thanks contributors for their consideration and expresses deep appreciation for any amount they can offer. 4th Street Diner & Bakery. You can either donate at https://www.gofundme.com/save-the-4th-street-diner-and-bakery, call Esther at 719-655-6411, or send a check to 4th Street Diner & Bakery, P.O. Box 2, Saguache, CO, 81149.
Last did not return phone calls Jan. 8, the final day listed for the posting of funds to the site.