Rally for Racks helping New Haven restaurant employees

Rack and Helen's interior
Rack and Helen's interior(WPTA)
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 4:18 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Rack and Helen’s Bar & Grill in Downtown New Haven is a special place to a lot of people. From birthdays to anniversaries, it’s a place to celebrate, which is part of what makes it special. For Pat Anderson, longtime owner of the business, the other part that’s special are the employees.

“There’s not one thing in this building that can’t be replaced, but you can’t replace employees. Seventeen years, thirty years, twelve years,, fourteen years, five years. That’s a lifetime in this business,” Anderson said

The New Haven community recognized the need to help the employees after the fire.

Nicole Moore, who owns Ravenswolf Emporium, and Megan Younker, co-owner of the Daily Dose, sprung into action to organize a small event to help raise funds.

“It’s very heartbreaking to watch as the trucks come in and see the crews. We walked out back to what was going on and it just broke my heart for him. Times are hard as it now, so we know what they are getting ready to encounter,” Younker said.

“Being next door to each other, we’re always running back and forth,” Moore said. “So, we had been talking about and decided to do something to help them.”

The small fundraiser, put together in less than a month, turned into something big. Food trucks donating food and time, televisions being auctioned off, streets being closed in downtown, just to help their own.

Longtime bar manager Christine Csievert says the support has been unbelievable, saying “the world is a better place because of these two people. The outreach that we’ve had, not only from Ravenswolf and the daily dose, its just been ever community member with just the people that live here, the businesses not only in New Haven, but in Fort Wayne. It’s a very humbling experience.”

Anderson says he’ll get the bar back open, but the reason he says he been so emotional today? “It’s not the fire, it’s the support from all over,” Anderson said. “These girls took it upon themselves...This is not a little bitty fundraiser. This is big support”

There is currently no timeline for when Rack and Helen’s will re-open.

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