Things were looking a little hairy for the monthly Steampunk Tea Party at Geek Bar Beta. Purse strings were tightening. Financial difficulties loomed. However, community and private support have provided tenability for the bar and future tea parties.
Fleet Admiral David Zoltan and the crew intended to open Geek Bar in a space on Clybourn Avenue in west Lincoln Park. The Zoning Board approved, which would help grant a liquor license with the Liquor Commission. There were difficulties with building permits and alderman support. In the meantime, Geek Bar Beta opened as an extended pop-up location in Wicker Park in conjunction with Storefront Company. They intended to keep it open for a couple of months and open the Clybourn location. In January 2014, they began to negotiate to make the Wicker Park location permanent.
In July, Geek Bar Beta set up a gofundme.com campaign to cover expenses. They needed to raise at least $20,000 to cover $11,00 in taxes, $6,000 in back wages and $3,000 in rent. They are looking for an additional $55,000 to cover $25,000 for marketing and renovations, and a $30,000 operational reserve to stave off future financial issues.
The financial crisis has been staved off. Zoltan posted on Facebook. “Thanks to your tremendous support and huge show just how much the community needs Geek Bar, a private fan has gotten us a sizable loan to ensure that Geek Bar is OUT OF IMMEDIATE DANGER! Our staff all got and cashed their paychecks thanks to the incredible turnout over the weekend, and we are reimbursing them for their bounced checks as well as for fees incurred as the GoFundMe funds come to our account. We are getting squared away with our rent, and a check is going to the state so that we can meet the letter of demand from them. We are moving forward with Storefront Company in solidifying our ongoing relationship with them. We are back on relatively solid ground and will continue to work now on building the operational reserve and the money for continued improvements that will both improve our operations and make Geek Bar Beta a great geeky place for the geeks, nerds, dorks, and dweeb of Chicago.”
Contributions can be made at http://www.gofundme.com/geekbarbeta.
The bar continues to host the monthly Steampunk Tea Party. The August gathering will be held on August 22, from 3pm to 6pm. This is not a high tea, but tea-based cocktails will be available. There is no cover. Geek Bar Beta is all-ages until 9pm. Put on your steampunk finery and receive 10% off your bill. Geek Bar Beta is located at 1941 W North Avenue, Chicago, IL.
Geek love conquers all!