Supporters of Ambrose Butchery, a gastropub in Fremont’s Niles district, are hoping to help the business owners avoid debt after lease issues forced the eatery’s closure last month. Now supporters including Niles resident Kirsten Brice are hosting a fundraiser on May 11 that will include wine donated by Mr. Mikey’s Country Store and Deli.

Ambrose Butchery opened in 2019, after the restaurant owners converted the space from a retail location to a restaurant space. Business owners Joseph and Patricia Elmore had hoped summer’s brisker business would make up for slower winter sales and were taken aback when the lease was not renewed. So was the community, said Brice.

“(The landlord) did not give any reason. We put a substantial amount (into) tenant improvements,” Joseph Elmore said via text. “We are beyond disappointed, and it put us in a tough position.”

Landlord Wayne Corrie said that he declined to renew the lease because of concerns that the property could lose its insurance coverage if the wood-frame building constructed in 1892 continued to have a restaurant on-site.

“To be quite honest, this is our nest egg,” he said. “If we were to lose our insurance on that…we would have to come up with the balance right away. That would be really difficult.”

“I can’t risk it,” he added.

The small restaurant was known for its seasonal menus with dishes such as baked brie, burgers, steak frites and salads as well as beer, wine and cocktails.

As of Friday, a Gofundme campaign had raised $2,380 toward a $5,000 fundraising goal. “We’ve weathered the storm of Covid with your help, but now we need you again. Please donate and share to help us pay our employees and business bills,” the Elmores said on the campaign webpage.

Details: The fundraiser will begin at 10 a.m. May 11 in front of the former Ambrose Butchery at 37683 Niles Blvd. in Fremont, before relocating down the street to Niles Flying A at 37810 Niles Blvd. until 4 p.m.