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October 22, 2020

Doobies bar in Fitler Square turns to GoFundMe to survive COVID-19

Beloved Philly pub is known for its David Bowie tribute

Restaurants Bars
Doobies bar GoFundMe coronavirus Google/StreetView

Doobies bar in Philadelphia's Fitler Square launched a GoFundMe seeking $10,000 to weather the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another longtime Philadelphia eatery is asking for relief from the damaging economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Doobies, a decades-old bar in Fitler Square, launched a GoFundMe campaign Tuesday to help maintain its business and prevent it from "becoming a sinking ship." 

By Thursday, the GoFundMe already had raised more than $25,000 for the pub, located at 22nd and Lombard streets. 

Patti Brett, whose family has owned the bar since 1978, organized the fundraiser. She said loyal customers are being supportive during the pandemic, but Doobies still needs help paying its bills.

"Doobies Bar has been a part of my life for virtually all of my adult life," Brett wrote in the GoFundMe post. "At the tender age of 22, it became my livelihood. My mom purchased it on Oct 28th, 1978 and as we approach our 42nd anniversary of it being in my family, Covid has made it harder to do take out business and even harder to pay our bills."

Brett said she hasn't applied for government-sponsored aid packages for fear of adding to the bar's growing debt. Doobies received a bit of grant support, she said, but it wasn't enough.

Within two days, more than 350 donors have stepped in to help Doobies. The bar, known for its David Bowie memorabilia, may now be able to hang on during the coronavirus pandemic a little longer.

In an update posted Wednesday, Brett thanked the donors for their support. She said she had been responding to donors with personal messages as well.

"Please know that I responded to over 300 donations, with a personal note to each of you," Brett wrote. "I'm so very sorry if you haven't received yours from me. I do indeed appreciate every single penny you have sent to help me keep Doobies open and I promise all of those funds will be spent on doing just that, keeping Doobies doors open, in whatever manner that has to be. Thank you all so very much for the outpouring of love you have done us (me)!"

Earlier this month, Reading Terminal Market launched a GoFundMe seeking $250,000 to help it get through the public health crisis. The 128-year-old market has raised more than $140,000 over a two-week span. 

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