Tucker’s Restaurant opened on September 19, 1946. This Saturday, the iconic eatery reaches its 69th anniversary, but the doors will remain closed as the kitchen was destroyed in a fire in July.
|Tucker's Restaurant bustling during weekend brunch in Spring 2015.|
Owners Carla and Joe Tucker are hoping to re-open the restaurant within the next few months. Neighbors have come together to assist with manual labor or raise money for reconstruction, including customer Chris Heckman, who created a GoFundMe.com campaign for Tucker's. Within the first 48 hours, over $10,000 in donations poured in from around the community. To date, the campaign has raised almost $15,000 of the $65,000 needed to repair damages and reopen the establishment. So far, the Tuckers have used the funds to hire an architect, contractor, and begin the construction process.
Jean-François Flechet, a long-time Tucker's customer and owner of nearby restaurant, Taste of Belgium, helped setup an online store to increase fundraising through the sales of Tucker's gift cards. Flechet thought of it as paying for his next meal in advance, helping the Tuckers' cash flow and speeding up the renovation process. "I bet others would be willing to do the same thing," says Flechet. "You get a few hundred people buy a few meals each; Joe and Carla will have the funds they need to reopen the restaurant." Flechet reached out to Heckman, a designer by trade, who created the artwork for the gift cards.