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In heartwarming show of neighborhood support, Draft Horse asks community for help, gets it

Last week, the Food Building favorite took to Facebook with an earnest plea.

Last week, the Food Building favorite took to Facebook with an earnest plea. Draft Horse

'Tis the season for mushy tales about the generosity of spirit.

Well step aside, Scrooge, because we have a heart warmer from right here in Minneapolis.

It's been a rough couple of months for the Draft Horse. The Northeast restaurant -- which uses ingredients sourced from local businesses in the adjacent Food Building for plates that are truly farm-to-table -- has had a tough time after nearby condo construction led sales to tank.

And so, deciding they should just be honest about their plight, that's exactly what they said on Facebook last week.

"Construction across the street has caused our traffic to plummet, our business has taken a significant hit over the past few months," wrote co-founders Katie Kyle, Luke Kyle, and Anne Saxton. "Please stop in for lunch, dinner, or apps & drinks. If you go out to eat, come here!" They added a note about their holiday gift card deal and  fired off the post.

It was a simple, honest plea -- and one the Draft Horse team wasn't sure they should make.

"The story of construction affecting small businesses is not a new story, and I’d like to be clear that our goal with our recent social media post was not an attempt at pointing fingers, but truly just reaching out to our loyal customers and hoping to have them rally with us to get through this," Katie Kyle explains to City Pages.

But the request worked -- and how. That post has been shared more than 300 times over the last six days, garnering dozens of comments from concerned, hungry Twin Citians.

And it hasn't been the kind of performative support that stays confined to Facebook, either. Katie tells us that tables have been noticeably fuller since they shared their story, that gift cards are flyin' just in time for the holidays.

"The community’s response has been incredible," she says. "It wasn’t the easiest decision to come out and say we need help, but it truly makes me so proud to live in a city [where] when you are vulnerable, people come out to show they have your back. Our customers are truly the best and we are so grateful for their continued support."

It's a miracle on 14th Avenue.

The Draft Horse
117 14th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-208-1476
thedrafthorsempls.com