Fur-friendly cafe Fernando's to close before Anthrocon 2012
As Pittsburgh convention Anthrocon approaches this June, many furs are opening up their wallets, counting up their change, and announcing to friends whether they can be expected this year. Unfortunately Fernando's Cafe, a business dear to attendees, have done the same and found that they will be unable to stay afloat until then. The cafe intends to close its doors on April 27.
Found on the block neighboring the Westin, Fernando's was renowned for having embraced the furry gathering with above and beyond support. For the weekend they would change the name of the restaurant to "Furnando's" (embroidered upon shirts), drew blue paw marks on the sidewalk, and offered attendees special discounts.
The owner also showed great courage on an infamous day during Anthrocon 2007 when he stepped in to break up a conflict involving a non-furry patron who was harassing the convention-attending customers. In the exchange that followed, Fernando ended up in hospital when the non-furry individual hit him with a brick in anger.
The efforts were gladly returned to the small business owner whose business soared during the convention weekend. The owner claimed he'd rather have another Anthrocon then a G20 summit, "All I need is three of those conventions and I can close for the rest of the year". When he wound up in the hospital as a result of the 2007 incident, furries made cards and monetary donations to show their appreciation for his actions. The cafe was indeed a fur-friendly hub for furries to gather outside the bounds of the convention.
Other businesses have also started to warm up to the fandom over the years, and because of this furries will be able to find places that welcome them with open arms. However, even as the years go by they will never forget the Brazilian native whose business was seen by many as a leader in the growing positive relationship with Anthrocon and the Pittsburgh local businesses. Nothing will ever be able to truly replace it, as there will always be a special place in the furry's heart... and stomach... for Fernando's.