DENVER — For the last ten years, the Mutiny Information Café stood out on South Broadway as a safe haven for people who don't fit the classic societal mold.
It's a space for local artists, a spot to grab a coffee and a comic book.
“We really think about the people in our community and what we can offer them because they offer us a lot," Matt Megyesi, co-owner of Mutiny, said. "Whether it’s a new book, a new painting, whatever it is, we just want to see other people succeed just as much as they obviously want to see us succeed."
Megyesi watched as those artists, comic book writers, musicians, and pinball aficionados all donated to the place that gave them a space to be themselves.
Last week, Megyesi said the City of Denver called a locksmith and seized their building because they owe $31,330 in back taxes.
“We had already been wary of the fact that we have lots of bills to pay," he said.
In less than 24 hours, the community donated enough to cover the taxes. And in 3 days, they raised more than $57,000 through a GoFundMe created by an employee.
Megyesi has heard the people who say he and his business partner made bad business decisions.
But, he said, they just had one too many rainy days in a business that doesn't allow for a rainy day fund.
"There’s always something around the corner that’s gonna spring out there and surprise you," he said.
First there was the pandemic, and then Megyesi said he had a series of strokes and a heart attack that put him in a coma.
“We had great plans for 2022, and then right at the beginning of the year I ended up going to the hospital and, ah, taking a nap for about 3 months," he laughed.
Megyesi said they've been able to pay their employees and the rent, but taxes fell behind.
The next hurdle for the business will come in 2023 when the minimum wage in Denver goes up to $17.29. Megyesi said they'll likely raise coffee prices to make things work.
Closing for good is not the option they want to consider.
“I can’t imagine doing anything else really," he said.