Pricey Vegan Institution Karyn's Is Looking For $300,000 To Stay In Business

By Rachel Cromidas in Food on Dec 8, 2015 6:06PM

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Karyn's day spa

Karyn's, the vegan and raw food institution that has been bringing $12 green juices to Lincoln Park for years, needs $300,000 to stay in business, the restaurant has announced.

Karyn Calabrese, the 68-year-old Chicago native, chef, cookbook author and peddler of high-priced holistic health remedies, said in a video posted to the crowdfunding website GoFundMe Friday that she was looking for the donations from community members to keep the business afloat following a devastating fire in 2012.

"The entire place was burned to the ground. It took everything I had to rebuild," Calabrese said of her restaurant, market cafe and day spa, Karyn's Fresh Corner and Raw Bistro on North Halsted Street. "I did rebuild and here we are again. But we aren't thriving like we did before."

Since Friday, the GoFundMe, set up by an anonymous client, has raised a little over $3,000 dollars.

"Karyn’s is the longest standing raw foods restaurant in the country and it is a destination place for travelers from around the world," the client wrote on GoFundMe. "Karyn herself is always there, opening up her second home to anyone in need with a smile and an excitement to teach."

Calabrese has opened several restaurants in Chicago since opening Karyn's Fresh Corner and Garden Cafe on Lincoln Avenue in 1995. Other restaurants, Karyn's on Green in Greektown and Karyn's Cooked in River North, received positive reviews and were popular but have closed in the past year. She has counted Lady Gaga and Beyonce among her clients.

[H/T DNAinfo]