Midtown Detroit coffee shop closed after sewage leak launches fundraiser

January 13, 2020, 7:57 PM

An independent coffee shop near Wayne State University is trying to raise money to reopen after it says it was forced closed by a Rocket Fiber subcontractor's mistake. 

The Bottom Line Coffee House tells Crain's a company laying fiber optic cable punctured its sewer line in 2015, causing a slow leak that culminated with sewage seeping through its floorboards this summer.

Sewage seeped through the floorboards, causing the shop to close in September.
(Photo: Facebook) 

Rocket Fiber acknowledges the issue, but disputes it's at fault. Instead, it blames the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department for not marking the line properly. DWSD, however, saying the affected area is the property owner's responsibility.

Amid the stalemate, the shop has turned to the public for help. It hopes to raise $20,000 via GoFundMe to reopen "while we fight for restitution." More than five dozen donors give about $1,200 so far. 

The leak also has caused problems for the apartment building housing the shop. Beethoven Apartments owner Scott Lowell says he's had to close some lower units and is out an estimated $300,000.

"Our patience is really wearing thin at this point," he said. "It's been months. We're keeping other people at bay. We've got people in this building that are displaced. It's not right."

Read more:  Crain's Detroit Business

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