Schnitzel Haus asks community for help on GoFundMe page

July 24, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
Schnitzel Haus asks community for help on GoFundMe page
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With restaurants struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic and unable to provide indoor dining, a Bay Ridge favorite is asking for help.

Schnitzel Haus, the German restaurant at 7319 5th Ave., has been in the community for 13 years and owner Alfred Urban has created a GoFundMe page to help pay the rent.

“I’m not the type of person that asks for help, but unfortunately we have nowhere to turn right now,” he wrote. “Schnitzel Haus has become a staple in Bay Ridge in my opinion. At the beginning my parents and my family were the only ones that believed  in my dream. It has been a very difficult road. First they foreclosed on our building six years ago and we were foreclosed on our house last year but we didn’t give up.”

Tragedy also struck Urban when his son Richie died at 26 earlier this year.

“We were and still are very devastated,” he said. “I sat and argued with myself and my wife for the last month and said no matter what I will fight for our family business. I was taught to never give up but I am not that strong of a man anymore.”

He also spoke about the dire financial situation on the page.

“I was hoping our landlord would negotiate with us,” he said. “Maybe it’s the fact that he lives in China and doesn’t see what goes on here. But we have no choice but to pay the arrears by September when our protection from the state is lifted on August 20.”

Urban also said the family has already wiped out what was left of his 401K and their bank accounts. However, Urban and company are determined to do all they can to keep the business going.

“As a family we all agreed to try to keep our doors open in memory of mom, dad and especially Richie,” he said. “He was always proud of what he helped build in our community.”

The restaurant was able to get merchant funding for $25,000.

“After all the fees, we will walk away with $20,000,” he said. “We are reaching out to our community, friends and family to see if we can keep our family dream alive. “

Locals have shown their support, already donating more than $4,000 in less than a day.

“Me and my wife both love Schnitzel Haus,” said patron Matthew Guadagno. “We had our rehearsal dinner there and we’ve celebrated birthdays there as well. It’s always been a favorite of ours. It’s hard to find authentic German cuisine in south Brooklyn, but they deliver and nail it.”

“Please help save a beloved Bay Ridge restaurant,” said the Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue BID on Facebook. “Throughout the pandemic, the Urban family selflessly helped feed the most vulnerable. Let’s come together and help them in their time of need! Please donate what you can and share widely.”

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