In a desperate and passionate move, Auckland's 125-year-old Shakespeare Hotel and Brewery in CBD have reached out directly to the members of the wider community on the Givealittle crowdfunding site to keep the business alive.

The iconic Tavern has for long been at the centre of distress first because of City Rail Project constructions and accompanied dwindling customers, and then followed by successive Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020 that has brought the business to its knees.

Till now, the Tavern's passionate owner Sunny Kaushal has been trying every possible measure to revive the dwindling customer footfall in the iconic brewery and restaurant, including hoping to bring back old customers who have shared happy times and memories by re-introducing the food and craft beer from the past.

In 2019, Kaushal has teamed up with businesses affected by City Rail Link to protest by sending flowers bouquets to the Mayor & Prime Minister (IWK Picture)

However, it seems that is not working well or at least not preventing the continuous financial bleeding of the business, which according to the owner is losing $10,000 every week, putting their lifelong savings on the line for paying salaries and wages and keep the business running.

Refusing to give up on this iconic business and demonstrating his passion for keeping the business alive, the owner has gone crowdfunding way on the Givealittle site and is hoping on the love and generosity of the wider community for the iconic brewery & restaurant.

"We have taken this decision to reach out to people directly based on the advice from some well-wishers and customers who have strongly asked me to set up a Givealittle page," Kaushal said.

"The proceeds will be spent to keep the business running, supporting the team, pay mounting debts until it returns to normalcy," Kaushal said.

Shakespeare Hotel and Brewery was built in 1898 on the corner of Wyndham and Albert Streets was once owned by former All Black hooker Ron Ulrich. A great location and a heritage classified building with stunning architecture, Shakespeare still resonates with an original English style pub as you enter the premises.

Kaushal told the Indian Weekender that he bought the buzzing enterprise in 2017 to continue the legacy of the Victorian-style brick pub known for its iconic and New Zealand's oldest and surviving microbrewery in Auckland CBD.

Unfortunately, the enterprise has been engulfed with issues since it started thriving.

"First, the City Rail Project that went near completion last year but then Covid-19 hit us, and we were back to square one," Kaushal said.

"Most of the offices in the CBD have asked their employees to work from home, which has reduced the building capacity to less than 30% and proportional fall in local businesses in the CBD," Kaushal said.

Givealittle crowdfunding has been able to support some businesses in past

The Indian Weekender reached out to the Givealittle team to get any ready figures or information on the number of businesses resorting to crowdfunding through the popular site, especially after Covid-19 lockdowns.

While Givealittle does not have any data on the number of businesses resorting to crowdfunding through their popular site, it confirmed that it was not unusual though for businesses to use the platform for salvaging their situation, including during Covid, with a few having been reasonably lucky to receive adequate support from generous people.

"Unfortunately, we are unable to track data in this way because a "Business" profile might raise funds for different reasons during or after a lockdown in 2020. Also, depending on the way the page is set up, it may be that an individual (the owner) is the payee of the page instead of a "business profile", and therefore we would be unable to track that funds were raised specifically for a "Business" for that reason (and measured by specific Covid-related purpose) with any accuracy," a spokesperson of Givealittle said.

The spokesperson further directed towards some other businesses which have been able to get adequate support on the popular crowdfunding site.

Shakespeare Tavern's owner Sunny Kaushal is hoping to receive similar love and support as well, not only from the old customers but the wider community, to prevent the business from going bust.

Interested members of the community can help here