Little Lion Fire Relief Benefit Brings Together 20+ Restaurants at Mad Rex This Sunday
The Little Lion will present an Old City Fire Benefit to raise money for employees while the restaurant is closed due to the four-alarm fire in neighboring buildings in Old City. The fundraiser will be held on Sunday, March 4, 2018, from 1:00pm to 5:00pm, at Mad Rex Restaurant and Virtual Reality Lounge at 1000 Frankford Avenue. The owners of Mad Rex, the world’s first post-apocalypse themed restaurant, are donating their space, staff and Mad Rex IPA to help a fellow restaurant and its employees in a time of need. Mad Rex, Sysco and over 20+ restaurants, bars and breweries are donating food and drink to the event. Tickets to the benefit are $35 in advance and $45 at the door. Tickets include lite bites, two drinks, DJ, entertainment, silent auction and 10 minutes of free virtual reality. VIP tickets are also available for $75 and include unlimited drinks. For tickets and donations, please visit the Go Fund Me page at: https://www.gofundme.com/thelittlelion
“As you may know, TheLittleLion was affected by the four alarm fire in Old City in the neighboring buildings to us on the Chestnut Street side of our restaurant,” said owner Chris Younge. “Our hearts go out to the numerous neighbors, tenants and visitors that were displaced, as well as to the owners of the pets that lost their lives in the fire. While the fire itself was in the neighboring buildings, TheLittleLion is greatly affected as we share a common wall and various elements of the building with the buildings that contained the fire. As of this week, TheLittleLion will be temporarily closed for an estimate of at least two months. We have not been formally allowed inside the restaurant to access the damage, begin drying out and making repairs. The last information we have is that the buildings near us are also still in a collapse zone.”
The damage to The Little Lion will be fully reviewed when the owners are allowed back inside. At this time, they are aware of significant water damage to at least one if not both of the kitchens, the mezzanine and the basement level. Younge added, “We sustained major water damage to the back half and lower levels of the building – but the final look at damage will happen in the coming days. City and fire officials are focused on the safety and stability of the neighboring properties at the moment, and during that period we are waiting patiently. Again, we do not have more information and hope to have more updates to share next week.”
While The Little Lion is temporarily closed, Younge and his business partner Jason Dills want to take good care of The LittleLion family and staff. “We have over 80 employees and we are seeking temporary placements for them at fellow restaurants, bars and other businesses. We have had a number of generous offers and other restaurant leaders are stepping up to help – and we are working day and night to work with them to help our team. We also want to host a benefit to help them through this time and loss of income,” added Younge.
The Old City Fire Benefit event will take place at Mad Rex in Fishtown. Mad Rex’s owners and team have offered full use of their venue to help out the Old City restaurant. The event will take place from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Guests will enjoy food and drink donated by over 20+ restaurants, bars and breweries in the region. Special thanks to Sysco for donating food for the event – which Little Lion staff will help prepare. The full list of participating spots at this time includes:
BRU Craft & Wurst
Cinder Copper & Lace
Dim Sum House
Jane G’s by Dim Sum House
La Virgen de las Nieves Mexican Restaurant
Los Gallos Mexican Taqueria
Mad Rex Restaurant and Virtual Reality Lounge
Nick’s Bar and Grille
Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti
Puyero Venezuelan Flavor
Revolution Taco & 33rd Street Hospitality Catering
River Horse Brewing Company
Taproom on 19th
Look for additional restaurants to be added to the list. Various bites from the above restaurants will be passed around during the course of the event. Look for a variety of offerings during the afternoon.
On top of food and drinks, look for drawings and a silent auction with prizes including four club level seats to an Eagles season game during next season (which is donated by Cavanaugh owner Ken and wife Gretchen Hutchings), Eagles autographed memorabilia, restaurant gift cards, hotel packages, experiences, services and gift baskets.
Guests will also enjoy music from a DJ, live performances, and ten free minutes of games and experiences in Mad Rex’s virtual reality lounge. Guests will also leave with a voucher to come back for a free virtual reality experience in the future as a way to say thanks for supporting The Little Lion.
The event will also feature some drawings to support the work of Red Paws – as nearly a dozen companion animals lost their lives in the fire.
Mad Rex wishes The Little Lion well and looks forward to pitching in to help during this stressful time for Lion’s owners and staff. “We wanted to roll up our sleeves and help our colleagues in the restaurant industry,” said Mad Rex partner Michael Johnigean. “Our team loves The Little Lion and our staff have worked side-by-side with their hosts, servers and bartenders over the years in their former positions. Philadelphia’s restaurant community is a tight knit group and we are happy to support and help in any way we can. Our motto is ‘Be a Survivor.’ Come join us as we help The Little Lion gets back on its feet.”
Pricing for the benefit is as follows:
* General admission $35 in advance or $45 at the door – includes lite bites, two drinks, unlimited non-alcoholic drinks, 10 minutes free virtual reality on location, 10 minutes free virtual reality in future, DJ, silent auction and entertainment.
* VIP admission $75 in advance or at the door – includes lite bites, unlimited drinks, unlimited non-alcoholic drinks, 10 minutes free virtual reality on location, 10 minutes free virtual reality in future, DJ, silent auction and entertainment.
Sponsorship are also available that include Little Lion t-shirts, dinner for two when Little Lion re-opens, an exclusive private tasting dinner and drinks for 8 people, and more.
For tickets, donations and sponsorship packages, visit:
“We are so grateful for all the texts, messages and calls. This is definitely not the last roar for TheLittleLion – we will be back and be better than ever. We will simply be hibernating for a period of time while we access and make repairs and fix our historic space. We poured our heart and soul into bringing new life to this corner of 3rd and Chestnut – and we have been honored to host thousands each week for dinner, drinks, brunch and special occasions. We aim to try to open in time for Mother’s Day and late spring wedding season, but once we are inside we can give a better sense of timing.”