Restaurants and friends work to raise money for Katoi employees

Posted at 4:40 PM, Feb 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-18 18:20:33-05

As the investigation continues into the fire at Katoi, a popular Detroit hotspot, businesses and friends look for ways to support the employees.

On Saturday, from 2:00-7:00 pm, Motor City Wine held a fundraiser to donate a portion of their sales to the Katoi employees.

"This community is really thick, we all support one another heavily, Katoi did some of their first pop ups here at our place and we've been supporting and eating their food ever since,” said Motor City Wine co-owner, Melissa Armin-Parcells.

She said suppliers have helped donate beer and wine for the event.

She also said local Corktown restaurants have found shifts and positions for the Katoi employees.

Along with the fundraiser at Motor City Wine, there are also fundraisers planned for Two James and Temple.

Neighbor and Katoi enthusiast, Sara Aldridge, set up a GoFundMe account for people unable to attend the fundraisers. 

"For people that work in the service industry a lot of times they're dependent on the tips they get from shift to shift to pay bills to put gas in their car to food in their mouths,” said Aldridge.

Fire investigators believe the fire started when someone broke into the restaurant early Friday morning and attempted to steal liquor, then set the fire to cover up the crime.

They’re still looking into how it started and who is responsible.
"It's sad when people are pressed to that kind of a need, to have to break in and do things like that, it's a shame, but because of community and friends, we are all going to get through,” said Armin-Parcells.

If you have any information about the fire that could help investigators, call Crime Stoppers 1 (800) SPEAK-UP.

If you’d like to help Katoi employees, you can head to this GoFundMe page.