Back when D.C.'s first philanthropub Cause opened last year, the restaurant's goal was to give away $100,000 in its first year. That turned out to be a bit ambitious. Young & Hungry broke the news this afternoon that Cause is now closed.
Co-founder Nick Vilelle explained the problem in a nutshell to Young & Hungry: the restaurant couldn't achieve their goal to give their profits away to charity because they weren't making any profits. "I think we just didn't come up with the right combination to make the model work here," Vielle told the Washington City Paper. The founders also wrote a goodbye message on Cause's Facebook page.
It is with deep sadness that we report that CAUSE is closed for business. What started as an idea for a fun new way to help others has unfortunately not been able to achieve its purpose. Despite a great response from people around the country, CAUSE has not been able to achieve regular profitability, and thus not been able to generate the donations that were the reason for starting the restaurant. It is certainly a huge disappointment to us, as we truly believe in the idea but a number of factors have kept us from reaching our goals. We knew going in that it was a very difficult industry, but we hoped that the mission behind CAUSE would help carry us to success. We would like to thank our great team and the entire community that has been very supportive in this endeavor.
While CAUSE will no longer be offering philanthropic pints, people interested in this form of business can follow OKRA in Houston and The Oregon Public House in Portland that are operating under similar business models.
— Adele Chapin
· Cause "Philanthropub" Closes in Shaw [WCP]
· A Look Inside Cause, D.C.'s Philanthropic Pub [-EDC-]
· Charity Case: Can a Restaurant That Gives All Its Profits Away Succeed in D.C.? [WCP]
· Cause Bar and Restaurant [Official Site]
· All Previous Cause Coverage [-EDC-]