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The Raven Cafe Needs Your Help

CITY COUNCIL DEBATES PEOPLE VERSUS PARKING, AGENDA ITEM 3A, TUESDAY AUGUST 11TH 1 PM. 

WE NEED COMMENTS SUBMITTED TO THE CITY COUNCIL WEBSITE TODAY! MONDAY!

SEE BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION AND A LETTER FROM OUR PROPRIETOR

As everyone is well aware, we find ourselves in weird and difficult times.  It is a time that necessitates adaptation to survive and creativity to thrive.  The recent willingness of the City allowing restaurant owners to create “parklets” or extensions of premises into the street has given us the opportunity to do both.  The response has been overwhelmingly positive.  

The City has been incredibly supportive. Unfortunately, as often happens in the face of change, a handful of angry people have pre-determined that these changes will be bad for other businesses.  These last 15 years the Raven has been a place for the community to come together—Prescott’s gathering place. For this to continue, we need to be able to safely allow dining and distanced gathering, which requires more outdoor space.

Throughout this difficult time, we’ve remained committed to our employees.  We have not laid off one employee as a result of COVID.  This is because of our personal commitment to our employees and the greater community. There is a virtual City Council meeting being held on Tuesday to discuss the future of this issue.  

If you see this as a positive for our restaurants, downtown, and our greater community we need your voice or comment.

Critical points to include in your comment:

  1. I urge the Council and Mayor to grant independent restaurants permits to temporarily expand their outdoor dining options
  2. The City should continue to support Prescott’s restaurants during COVID.
  3. I value the character of downtown Prescott, which independent restaurants are crucial to.

On Tuesday, August 11th at 1 pm the City Council will be discussing the temporary implementation of restaurant “parklets” and the use of parking spaces downtown. If you are interested in learning more or wish to express your opinion, we encourage you to attend remotely.

Here is how you can watch or participate:

This meeting may be viewed on Channel 64, and Facebook Live as well as on the City’s website: 
https://prescott.12milesout.com/live-video

Or Via Zoom By Registering in advance at (after registering you will receive a confirmation email with info to join the meeting): 
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_XDHSK4R0SLGdw4NO7U4y_w

Comments from the public may be submitted through the City website for AGENDA ITEM 3A: 
http://www.prescott-az.gov/city-management/leadership/speaker-request-form/

For more information about City Meetings, or this matter, please contact the Communications Office at 928-777-1362.

Lastly, a letter from Ty, our proprietor…

Dear Raven Community,

I’ve wanted to send a note to you, our extraordinary patrons, since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, but given the complexity of the problems posed to us, it’s taken until now to reach out and catch you all up on happenings at the Raven Café. So, first off, I want to say how very grateful I and the staff of the Raven are for your support of us. There is no Raven Café without you and our staff, and we are very, very grateful.

Secondly, I think that Prescott has weathered this crisis this far really well, with our citizens taking the lead, and behaving responsibly (more or less) consistently. I am so very proud to be a member of this community.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues into its fifth month, we at the Raven are working hard to provide our community of patrons and employees with the safest possible environment for dining and (distanced) socializing, but the economic toll of this trying time is starting to put a real strain on us. The SBA loans that got us through the first statewide shutdown have long since passed into memory, and no further government support appears forthcoming, which leaves us counting on the support of our community, as well as our ability to innovate to come up with ways to address our community’s needs.  This community support has been truly extraordinary, especially given the need for caution and the lack of reliable guidance and information about the outbreak and how to respond to it.

Meanwhile, the City of Prescott has been very supportive of us and other restaurants, implementing new, innovative ways to support locally owned businesses, especially within the hospitality industry, which is not only one of the top employers in Prescott, but which is being hit particularly hard by regulations necessary for protecting public health. One of the measures that the City has implemented that will benefit Prescott’s independent restaurants most is the creation of temporary ‘parklets’ for outdoor dining, which allow for much safer conditions for eating out.

As has become common knowledge, dining and gathering outdoors is much safer during the pandemic and leads to a reduced risk of the spread of COVID as compared to dining indoors. We at the Raven know this and have strenuously limited our indoor dining since mid-March, relying entirely on our rooftop patio, which is smaller than our dining room. We see it as the responsible thing to do in order to not contribute to COVID’s spread in Prescott.

The City’s efforts to implement the parklet concept, which we see as a creative, forward-thinking solution, not only will reduce the risk of the spread of COVID in Prescott but will make a real difference to Prescott’s hospitality industry, by giving us a chance to generate enough revenue to make it through this difficult period. And given that Prescott’s restaurants employ more people than nearly any other industry (only the education sector has more employees), smart policies that benefit us benefit the entire community.

Not everyone is enthusiastic about the creation of these parklets, however. A small number of business owners (fewer than 5 people that we know of) have complained loudly to the City about this policy, and are lobbying to have the policy revoked. We believe that ending this temporary policy now could cause more of Prescott’s restaurants to close, and will certainly put many of them under substantial additional stress. Independently-owned restaurants are an essential part of the culture of downtown Prescott.

The City has called for a discussion of this issue this Tuesday, August 11, at 1 pm, and is requesting comments to be submitted before then. The Raven (and our other businesses, including the Peregrine) would like to ask your help in submitting comments in support of these temporary parklets. Please follow the link in this email to submit your comment.

Again, thank you all for being part of the Raven Café community, and for your support of us during this time. You’re the best.

Ty

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