Yesterday, the Whatever Store, the Castro's home for comic books, action figures, and other accoutrements for "fabulous comic geeks," announced that it will need to raise $8,000 in the next five days to prevent the store from closing.
The store has been located on the 500 block of Castro Street for over a decade.
“It really hurts to say this, but Coug and I need some help,” wrote owner Rich Andrebou on the store’s Facebook page, referring to his husband Cougar, the store's co-owner.
According to Andrebou, poor sales over the past few months—as well as being “behind on some bills”—necessitated the creation of a GoFundMe to keep the store afloat. As of this morning, the campaign had raised over $1,500.
The Andrebous say they will put all of the donated money towards paying the store’s rent and bills, giving Whatever a cushion during January and February, which are traditionally its worst sales months.
The store’s owner admitted that he considered simply closing Whatever.
“I opened this store over 10 years ago, and we were doing great. Every year, our sales went up,” wrote Andrebou. "[But] we hit a wall and haven't yet recovered ... The Castro is in a weird transition, and we just need to make it through."
"This has been my dream, my own comic store and dammit, it's a great store. I don't want to give up on my dream.”
Beginning today, Whatever will be open every day. But if it fails to raise the $8,000, the store will be forced to shut down.
“Without you,” wrote Andrebou, “we wouldn't have a store. As hard as it is to admit, right now we just need a little bit of extra help.”
If this story looks familiar, it's because, yes, this isn't the first time that Whatever has asked for help from the community. At the end of 2014, we wrote about the store when it was trying to survive the Castro Streetscape Improvement Project.
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