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Walgreens bid threatens Krazy Fish

Plaza-Midwood staple gears up for upstream battle

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First, a developer threatened to buy out the Thirsty Beaver's land owner, presumably to build apartments. Now, another Plaza-Midwood favorite is facing possible extinction.

Krazy Fish owner George Prisco says Walgreens has offered to buy the land the quirky restaurant occupies from owner Bobbye Howell. Howell has told Prisco that she would sell to him before Walgreens and has given him 16 months — when his lease is up — to raise $70,000 for a down payment. Prisco says the land will ultimately cost $250,000.

On Jan. 20, a day or so after Walgreens made the offer, restaurant manager Venus Morales started a gofundme campaign to help Prisco raise money. Donations as small as $5 and as big as $100 have been made. "I don't have much but something is better than nothing," writes someone who gave $5. "Love this place too much to see it turned into a walgreens."

The campaign had $145 as of Jan. 27.

If the gofundme campaign and other efforts, including future concerts, don't work, Charlotte can kiss Krazy Fish's funky, chill atmosphere goodbye.

"I can't build another Krazy Fish like that if I move anywhere else," Prisco says. "I'd have to move up to new standard codes; I can't have a patio or crazy stuff inside the building."

Raising money the grassroots way is daunting, but Morales says the community has been supportive. "Bands are willing to play free if we do a concert," she says.

Last year was good for the restaurant: Prisco was featured in Johnny Knoxville Presents: Bad Grandpa, which filmed some scenes in Charlotte.

"We're trying to stay positive and optimistic, but we don't know," says Morales, adding that there are already several pharmacies in the vicinity.

Krazy Fish employs 25.

Donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/helpsavekrazyfish.

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