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.
About the authorSonious (Tantroo McNally) — read stories — contact (login required)
a project coordinator and Kangaroo from CheektRoowaga, NY, interested in video games, current events, politics, writing and finance
I enjoyed many a meal there, and it is sad that I won't have the opportunity to do so again before it closes for good. I wish Fernando well in whatever he chooses to do after this.
I wasn't aware of this cafe...I knew that businesses welcomed the furries (particularly the hotels) but never to this extent. Sad that it won't be open in time for AC 2012. :C
It's really a shame that all the places which seem to treat the Anthrocon attendees very well... all seem to fall by the wayside.
I'm glad I was able to get at least one of their shirts and enjoy their sandwiches while they lasted. Hopefully whatever replaces them will be as well enjoyed by those attending AC, and whoever frequents Pittsburgh on regular days because apparently no matter how much business we may give them that one weekend a year it's not enough to sustain them for the remainder, whoops ^.^;;;
Pretty sure I saw it in a film about AC. Never been there, obviously. Still, excellent story.
"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~
I only knew about Fernando's over Twitter and just done some reading about it and the money raised for him, just proves (yet again) that furries aren't as bad as people make them out to be and that we do things for charitble causes, in this a furry-friendly café. Now if only more people, and places, could be more excepting of us then we'd use their facilities, and such.
UPDATE: $20,000 has been raised for him and right now as I type this a bunch of furs are there for a big luncheon. Sadly I'm not, but I'm just mentioning it. Twitter hashtag #Anthrocon for more included pix tweeted
(I will be there for the Con though and who knows he could still be open by then)
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