Main Street Cafe struggles to keep its doors open

ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 News) - Elmira is working on revitalizing the Downtown area, but one of its longest standing stores, the Main Street Cafe, is struggling to keep its doors open.

"I love working in Downtown Elmira, I love owning the Cafe," said Angelina Guglielmo, owner of Main Street Cafe.

Three years ago, Guglielmo bought the Main Street Cafe from the former owner, but quickly realized the struggles that come along with owning a business in Downtown Elmira.

"The business just is not here in Elmira," Guglielmo said. "If you look out the window, you'll see very little foot track."

Just across the street from the cafe is the First Arena, where the Elmira Jackals played before being terminated earlier this year.

"It's just a giant empty building across form us," Guglielmo said.

The cafe has started a GoFundMe page and is asking the community for donations in order to stay open.

Guglielmo said the money will help pay off a tax debt.

"This year we barely, barely kept our head above water," Guglielmo said. "Now that it's winter, the taxes are due, and we just didn't have it."

In 2016, Elmira was awarded $10 million towards its Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

18 News spoke to the Elmira City Manager, Michael Collins, who said the D.R.I. only provides funding to new businesses, and not those already established.

"It'll be very interesting how they get the new businesses down here, and how they keep them here." Guglielmo said. "Not just get them down here, but keep them here."

Collins said he is expecting more traffic on West Water St, with the opening of commercial stores and apartments. He says in turn this will help local businesses.

Guglielmo is hoping to raise $20 thousand in order to keep the Main Street Cafe's doors open.

Visit their GoFundMe page to donate to the cafe


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