Robbinsdale’s The Birdhouse Eat & Drink Doesn’t Qualify for COVID-19 Grants, Crowdsourcing Raises $15K
For nearly five months, Robbinsdale’s newest restaurant, The Birdhouse Eat & Drink, has satisfied the hunger of people craving American comfort food.
“French fries fly out the door. French fries and tots,” said Nell Currey Dykhuis, owner of The Birdhouse.
“They have really good fries. Sweet potato fries. Regular fries. That’s what I like,” said Olivia Adams, a customer from Robbinsdale.
Fries are always a classic, but you also can’t go wrong with one of The Birdhouse burgers.
“We had it last week and my dad was just raving over the burger,” said Carrie Adams, another Robbinsdale customer.
Hearing a compliment like that is music to the ears of The Birdhouse’s staff members.
“I like burgers so I just always really wanted to make sure we had some good burgers on the menu,” Currey Dykhuis said. “I would say we sell a lot of Juicy Lucys.”
Since opening Aug. 3, the family-owned restaurant along West Broadway has become a fan favorite of people in the neighborhood.
“Just trying to support the local shops in Robbinsdale,” Carrie Adams said. “We’ve been hearing a lot on social media about Birdhouse and wanted to come in and give them as much money as we can, spread the wealth around.”
Struggling to stay open
It’s a sentiment that means a lot to the owners of The Birdhouse, who’ve discovered that even with delicious offerings on the menu, opening a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic has been challenging.
“Because we’ve never been able to operate at full capacity to date, that has been really hard for us to try to cover the big construction costs that we put into it and just kind of get on our feet,” Currey Dykhuis said.
And because The Birdhouse wasn’t open when COVID-19 first hit, she says they didn’t qualify for the small business relief programs offered by Hennepin County.
So to prevent the restaurant from closing, The Birdhouse launched a GoFundMe page just before Christmas to ask for help.
“It’s not what somebody wants to do, is to have to ask for help or ask for donations,” Currey Dykhuis said. “I don’t think we ever expected to be in this position, however, we are at a point that it’s necessary in order for us to stay open.”
For now, The Birdhouse will continue serving takeout orders for the loyal customer base they’ve amassed in these few short months, with the hope that 2021 has brighter days ahead.
“They’ve shown on social media that they’re in ‘Birdtown’ for the long haul, and we’d like to help them with that,” Carrie Adams said.