Community rallies to save Tempe bar as owner deals with financial woes amid pandemic
TEMPE, Ariz. - With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic taking a huge toll on business, a Tempe bar is in jeopardy of shutting down.
Now, the community is working together to help the Palo Verde Lounge stay open.
Palo Verde has been in business for more than 60 years. Owner Charles Marthaler says while he has delivered beer throughout the pandemic, it is not enough to keep the business going.
"It's been a nightmare," said Marthaler.
Since the pandemic began, live music and a tall, cold one has not been an option for customers at the lounge.
"We have occupancy at 99," said Marthaler. "That's kind of ridiculous, but we had a good crowd every night."
Palo Verde is located at 1015 W Broadway Rd. in Tempe
Marthaler is struggling to make ends meet as the pandemic continues to take a toll on his business. He closed for the first time in March 2020, but then reopened. However, he was later forced to shut down again.
With no help from the federal government, Marthaler has been delivering beer locally and throughout the Phoenix area, but he says it's just not cutting it.
"My tips rarely covers my rent," said Marthaler. "The landlord reduced my rent by 35%, and that helps, but I can't pay electric and water bill. All the bills are piling up, so I have exhausted all of my personal finances. So I'm at the point that after I pay rent today, I'm at $0."
A GoFundMe page from the community may be the light at the end of the tunnel to hold the establishment over until they can reopen again.
"Hopefully restore my inventory, pay back utilities, and do everything we have to do with the CDC checklist to reopen," said Marthaler. "I renewed my liquor license, and that tapped me out too. That's another $1,600."