Benefit held for employees who lost their jobs after South Austin coffee shop closes unexpectedly

Some 21 people are without jobs after a South Austin coffee shop closed its doors, unexpectedly. Employees of “Strange Brew” said in the middle of the day customers were kicked out and the doors were locked. Without an explanation for the closing, employees said they were left in the dark, with bounced paychecks and no jobs.

Ben Brockman was one of the former employees and has worked for the coffee shop for more than two years. “I think it has something to do with expanding very quickly and it kind of caught up to them,” he said. “At the end the checks started bouncing and then yeah, it just ended. Since no one knew, no one's been able to prepare for it really well.”

Rose Horvath said “Strange Brew was her go to coffee shop. “They just see me and they hand me my coffee,” But loss of the business closing is different for her, “They're buildings but the employees are the ones who made this happen, they were the lifeline, they're the ones that dedicated their time, their spirit and really made the connections happen.” She said she had to do something for the employees. Horvath along with some of the musicians came together, and organized a fundraising event that was held at Donn’s Depot in Downtown Austin.  “It's what we do when there's a need. All you have to do is make a phone call and it spreads like wildfire because that's what we do here, we support each other,” she said

Usually closed on Sunday, the bar opened their doors with staff and musicians all volunteering their time.
Donn Adelman is the owner of Donn’s Depot, “They needed a place to do it and we are big enough to handle the crowd that's come and we have a music venue too. its friends helping friends,” he said.

Brockman said he’s never felt so supported by a community before, “It inspires everyone to actually recognize that there are people who care and that they can still do something to move forward from here,” he said.

Donations from the event will be split between the employees left without a job.

They also have a GoFundMe for the employees.

Fox 7 reached out to “Strange Brew” by email and phone to respond, but have yet to hear back.

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