Albuquerque coffee shop fighting to stay open amid ART construction

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – After 20 years in business, a well-known Albuquerque coffee shop may have to close its doors, but KRQE News 13 spoke with employees who said they think they have a winning chance to fight back.

Winning Coffee is just one business along Harvard Drive, located directly across from the University of New Mexico.

Owner Sandy Timmerman said its rapid decline in business started when construction began for the city’s controversial Albuquerque Rapid Transit project.

“It’s been terrible,” Timmerman said.

She said typically their slow months are when UNM students are out for the summer. Timmerman said business is down 15 to 20 percent from this time last year. She said they’re looking to raise $30,000 just to break even.

“What we need is for people to recognize what’s happening because all the people on our street are suffering, not just us,” she said.

Timmerman said typically this is a peak time for business, but recently she was faced with a rough reality.

“We were like, ‘Wow! Is this the moment, after 20 years, that we say we’re done? Do we sell? Do we close the doors?’” Timmerman said.

Neither option was good enough for her staff at Winning Coffee. When she broke the news to them, they refused to close the doors.

“We’re going to fight this and come out stronger,” one employee said.

They started an online campaign to raise money and after two days, they’ve raised $6,471. Customers said they’re not stopping there.

“I don’t know where I’d go everyday if not here,” Sidney Abernathy said. “I’ve made so many friends here.”

“I mean there’s nothing like it in the entire world. It’s extremely unique,” David Bashwiner said.

There are signs in front of the shop that read “Save Winning Coffee.” Employees and customers said they’re on a mission to come out on top.

“They’ve been unbelievable,” Timmerman said. “Not just the people who have donated to the Indiegogo, but people who have come in recently just to buy a cup of coffee because they know we need the help.

The businesses along Harvard are applying for permits with the city in order to block off the road and host a block party. It will be held on April 1.

Timmerman said they’re thinking of calling it the “April Fools ART Fest.”

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