UTICA — The Tramontane Café hopes to revitalize its appearance and infrastructure after the owners posted a GoFundMe page asking for donations.
The project, titled “The Tram’s Exterior Spring SpruceUP,” hopes to raise $10,000 to help rebuild the property’s access ramp and a new entrance way, which includes a new “weather friendly” door.
The Tram also hopes to make cosmetic upgrades to its exterior, with a new coat of paint, and sealing and repainting the café’s signage and siding. It also hopes to add “one or two mural features.”
The post states that the projected improvements were given a $20,000 estimate. Any amount that is raised over $10,000 will be used for “as many other exterior upgrades until we can complete the entire property,” the post states.
The changes were described as “necessary improvements” on the post.
The cafe, which was founded in 2008, has been closed since June 2018 for “changes and upgrades,” especially on the Lincoln Avenue side, according to an email from co-owner Robin Raabe.
The café has had somewhat of a tumultuous past. The property was first sold to Raabe from the Urban Renewal Agency in 2011 for $50,000, but between back taxes and mortgage payments, there was about $28,700 remaining in outstanding debts, according to the Observer-Dispatch archives.
A lease agreement was then authorized that required Raabe to pay $230 per week over eight years. While those payments were up-to-date in January, no update has been provided on the status of those payments.
Raabe stated that she is eyeing a late spring opening “now that most of the road work is done for the Arterial (and) the Bargain Grocer has been built.”
The Tram had raised $2,835 of their goal as of Friday afternoon.