Dave Portnoy, fund founder, says the cafe is “the exact type of business we’re looking for.”
The Crest Cafe, a family-owned cafe known as a staple in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood, is the latest recipient of grant funding from Dave Portnoy’s The Barstool Fund. The fund was created in Dec. 2020 as a small business COVID-19 relief organization.
The Crest Cafe will receive $15,000 a month for at least 3-months as part of the grant. In business for 38-years, the cafe has faced numerous challenges since March 2020 when stay-at-home orders were first issued.
The cafe has had to transition to carryout and delivery only, to partial inside and outside dining, to outside dining, back to carryout only all in less than a year’s period of time. With the constantly changing guidelines, the business has also invested in numerous safety protocols to ensure the health and wellness of their staff and customers. All of this, during a time when the restaurant industry is facing much uncertainty about its future in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Founded by family patriarch Luis Moreno in 1982, the business was feared it might have to close its doors and end its nearly 4 decade run without some immediate financial assistance. Receiving the grant funding was a welcome relief to The Crest Cafe, now co-owned by Cecelia Moreno and her brother Ruben Medina, and managed by Ruben’s son Enrique Medina.
During the call, Portnoy told Enrique: "This is the good part of the day when I get to call guys like you and tell them that we want to help out ... you're the exact type of business we're looking for - 38 years, family run, was it your uncle who started it?...You're in San Diego, tough place I'm sure. California is one of … the hardest for restaurants’ and bars’ business."
The Barstool Fund was created on Dec. 17 by Portnoy with $500,000 of his own money to serve as a small business Covid-19 relief organization. In the 30 days since its founding, The Barstool fund has raised over $27 million from nearly 191,000 supporters. Funds have since been granted to 145 small businesses, including The Crest Cafe.
Crest Cafe is located at 425 Robinson Ave. and is currently open 7-days a week from 7 am to 10 pm. Orders can be placed online at crestcafe.net or by calling 619-295-2510.