LA Community Bands Together to Save Beloved Asian-Owned Cafe Visited by Tony Hawk, Dave Grohl
Community members of Tarzana, Los Angeles have chipped in to help the struggling VIP’s Cafe, the favorite cafe of the late legendary UCLA coach John Wooden, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mom and pop cafe, owned by Paul and Lucy Ma, is struggling to pay their staff and rent since it reopened on May 11 after shutting their doors in March due to the COVID-19 lockdown orders, LA Weekly reported.
When local Ryan Hagen, a resident from San Fernando Valley, heard of the cafe’s troubles, he took the initiative to help them with their rising bills. He started a GoFundMe campaign that asked for the community’s help in raising money for VIP’s Cafe.
“The COVID-19 crisis has affected us all, some more than others, but all of us nonetheless,” the campaign reads. “It’s especially hard for small businesses like VIP’s Cafe whom rely on us to remain in business. Paul & Lucy (Owners of VIP’s Cafe in Tarzana) have worked hard to provide us with great service, great food, and most of all a great experience every time we walk through their doors.”
One of the cafe’s notable patrons was Wooden, a legend at UCLA for leading the men’s basketball team to 10 national titles and an 88-game winning streak. In addition to Wooden, the cafe also served other celebrities, including Dave Grohl, Tony Hawk, and James Caan, to name a few.
Donations have poured in to support VIP’s Cafe. Wooden’s children also donated $1,000 to the campaign along with UCLA men’s basketball coach Mick Cronin, who donated $2,500 to help the cafe.
As of this writing, the campaign has raised over $10,000 of its $20,000 target.
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