The Night Owl Cafe in Downtown Fullerton started a fundraiser on Gofundme January 16, 2017 to “Save The Night Owl” after a water purifier broke their espresso machine early January, putting them in a position of either selling their P.A. system, or going without an essential piece of equipment for a coffee shop. The goal of the fundraiser is to raise $7,000 for a new espresso machine, and as of January 28, 2017, they have already managed to raise $2,255 from 33 donations.
“Our water purifying system destroyed our espresso machine.” Night Owl owner Joseph Rosati says, “In a coffee shop, an espresso machine is your absolute draw for anything. Everybody likes coffee, but they want a latte and the fancy stuff.”
Rosati says the death of his espresso machine is “a hard blow” with business not being great for the past year. The $7,000 expense is money that Rosati doesn’t have.
“When the espresso machine died, it was like ‘what do I got as far as an asset to get rid of to buy my new machine?’ because the water company doesn’t believe they did it.” Rosati says with a look of disbelief, “then I thought the only thing I really have asset wise, because I can’t get rid of the refrigerators or anything, is the P.A. system.”
The sale of the P.A. system would cripple the coffeeshop’s music and arts scene. Since opening in 2011, the cafe is most known for it’s open mic nights with “anywhere from 30-40 people” signing up every Tuesday, but also hosts a poetry night, a movie night, and a music night with a fire pit. The performance area is outside, so without a P.A. system, the business of Downtown Fullerton would drown out the local voices.
“This is kind of an outlet for everybody in the area.” Rosati says, “I’ve seen guys starting with their cracking voice going through puberty, now they’re playing at all the clubs around here, and they started at The Night Owl. We have a really cool authentic music scene here, it’s genuine.”
Rosati doesn’t want to kill the scene that calls his cafe home, so he’s calling out for support from the community. The fundraiser has managed to generate more than 30 percent of the goal in less than two weeks, with local businesses such as The Found Shop and Bourbon Street even showing support. Rosati sinks in his chair in disbelief as he talks about the amount of support so far.
“I’m so thankful for that, I’m so blown away by the generosity of people.” Rosati said, ” They get it, they know that this is their coffee shop; I’m just the guy who holds the keys.”