BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Fiercely self-sufficient Hell’s Backbone cafe owners turn to public for help

Dec 2, 2022, 4:00 PM | Updated: 4:52 pm
The owners of long-time local favorite, Hell's Backbone Grill and Farm, thought they would have to ...
Jen Castle and Blake Spalding, the chef-owners of Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm. Castle and Spalding started a GoFundMe account to help them raise money and keep their business open (GoFundMe)
(GoFundMe)

BOULDER, Utah — The owners of a beloved southern Utah eatery, Hell’s Backbone Grill and Farm didn’t think they’d survive another season after a tough few years of business.

The pandemic left the bar and grill, like many small businesses in substantial dept and short-staffed.

After an emotional newsletter posted to their website detailing the restaurant’s struggles, Hell’s Backbone owners Blake Spalding and Jen Castle thought the next message to their loyal patrons would have sad news.

The next day though, friends and fans flooded their inbox with messages of support and encouragement. They all played the same tune, namely, “don’t make this decision without us.”

Blake and Jen decided to open a GoFundMe account with a target of $324,000. At publication, the total sat at $311,191 with more than 2,500 donations. One person offered $7,500.

The said pair will use the money to buy the restaurant outright. They’ll tune up infrastructure and equipment, and pay off government loans that are all too familiar to any restauranter who survived the pandemic.

There still seems to be some spark in the grill thanks to the collective generosity of Utahns and others who like a good feed in the countryside.

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Fiercely self-sufficient Hell’s Backbone cafe owners turn to public for help