By Anica Padilla

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) — When the owner of the oldest bar in Fort Collins, the Town Pump, announced it was in danger of closing permanently because of COVID-19 restrictions, more than a thousand people stepped up to help. A GoFundMe set up on Wednesday had raised over $65,000 by Thursday morning!

The goal is to raise $75,000 to cover rent, payroll, unpaid debts and more.

“We are currently operating at 20% capacity and anyone that knows anything about business, knows that’s a death sentence,” Owner Jake Latendresse wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.

“…our last attempt to protect the Town Pump from permanent closure is a GoFundMe campaign,” Latendresse stated. “As difficult as it is to ask, we really NEED YOUR HELP.”

Latendresse was obviously emotional when he talked to CBS4 on Thursday afternoon.

“I just felt like, ‘This is my last breath of air,’ and wow…” he said.

“The Town Pump is saving itself right now,” Latendresse said. “It’s a collective group of people that have been coming in… it’s about the bar… people don’t want to see it dissolve and go away.”

The 416-square foot bar has been open since 1909 at 124 N. College Ave.

Click here to donate to the GoFundMe.

Anica Padilla