Business Partners Pay it Forward

By: Denise Wong Email
By: Denise Wong Email

Reno, NV - Mike Connolly has about a month to get his new bar open. He and his two business partners will be turning the old Chocolate Bar on Arlington Street into a place that specializes in beer.

"The Brewers Cabinet is going to be open in May," says Connolly.

This will be the fourth bar owned by Connolly and his business partners. They already own the Ole Bridge Pub, Sierra Tap House, and Legends Grill, Sports and Spirits.

But it wasn't easy for them to get started. When they bought Legends Grill six years ago, they had a tough time getting lines of credit from banks.

"We were really lucky to have friends and family who supported us and gave us loans," says Connolly. "But we've noticed there's a need in the community and maybe we can help out and give back to the community."

That's why they came up with the Reno Rebuild Project. It's a commitment to donate five cents from each item sold at each of their businesses to this new fund.

"Every sale. So if you buy a burger five cents. If you buy a soda, five cents. If you buy a beer, five cents. From every single item, we'll donate five cents," says Connolly.

All that money raised this year will go to someone else they select who wants to start something in Reno next year.

Loyal customers at Legends seem to like it.

"I think that's a wonderful idea," says Layne Kolbet, a diner at Legends. "It's good to see local businesses helping other local businesses get started out."

Mike Connolly is hoping that, between their four businesses, they can raise about $20,000 this year. The idea is so fresh, they just put it on Facebook on Thursday and say the community response has been overwhelming.

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