Local restaurant owner, chef turns to community for help

RouXbarb is known for its 'fresh seasonal food.' Its chef voted the best in Knoxville.

But that may not enough to keep its doors open for long.

"If we don't raise this money, we won't be able to stay open for more than a couple of weeks," said Bruce Bogartz, the chef and owner of Rouxbarb.

That's why he's taking an unusual approach.

In a letter in the Metropulse and in an email to others in the community, he asked for $100 donations to keep his restaurant in business.

"It's nobody's job to make me successful or keep me open, that's my job, but I just need help," he said. "Because I wont 'Best Chef' 6 years in a row, it tells me there's somebody out there that appreciates what I do."

Bruce is hoping to raise between $20,000 to $30,000 to pay rent, taxes and payroll to help him hang in there until the holiday season.

Some have already donated what they can to keep RouXbarb open.

"I think it was courageous on his part to do that. It's hard for people to ask for help," said Sandra Emond.

Local 8 News asked what viewers thought about the approach, and some aren't buying it.

"He should not ask," posted Lauren Julian.

"Will everyone donate $100 to me?? I have bills to pay," said Stephanie Yarber.

Bogartz told Local 8 News it wasn't easy to do but he was just being honest.

"I have the right to ask because I need it. Everyone has the right to say no," he said. "I just felt like there were enough people out there who cared enough that it was atleast worth a shot."

RouXbarb is located on 130 S Northshore Dr. in West Knoxville. If you want to help you can call, 865-212-0024.

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