Business people rally behind OK Cafe

The fire that trashed the OK Cafe was evidently caused by a water heater.

You’ve read about the fire Sunday that trashed Atlanta’s home of the power breakfast, the OK Cafe, and hopefully you have read our story about how local business people were devastated.

But something else is going on now, as PR executive Tony Wilbert points out on his blog, Skyline Views. Folks who were hit hardest were the OK Cafe’s hundred workers, who at least temporarily lost livelihoods right before the holidays.ok

So Atlanta business people are rallying around the OK Cafe workers. Businessman John McColl Jr. and his father, Cousins executive VP John McColl created a fundraising campaign on the crowdfunding site crowdrise.

As of this morning, the campaign had raised more than $20,000, which organizers pledge will go toward the cafe’s workers. Wilbert said the business community’s initial goal was $25,000.

The iconic OK Cafe is expected to re-open eventually, but no word yet on when that will be.

UPDATE: Less than two days after the fundraiser got under way, it had surpassed its goal: $26,275 at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday. Organizers encouraged business people to keep going:

“All – We have officially eclipsed our goal of raising $25,000 in just over one day. What a great accomplishment! It would not have been possible without each one of your generous donations so thank you very much.

But the job is not over! There is another $25,000 out there to be raised, so please share the fund/cause with all your friends. We want to make this Christmas a memorable one for everyone at the OK Cafe.

John McColl & John McColl Jr.”


As of 3:50 p.m. Thursday, fundraising had eclipsed $39,000.

Reader Comments 0


I agree Ned, a very caring, generous crowd of folks pitching in. I'd like to commend the McColls for taking charge. Perhaps local restaurants can find a job or two temporarily for the workers until its rebuilt? BTW, I love eating here!

Ned Ludd
Ned Ludd

Well done---sharing and thinking of others is what it is all about.  Especially at this time of year.  Best of luck to all affected and I hope those similarly affected when Basil's (right down the street) burned have equal guardian angels.