Pitkin Avenue BID awards Brownsville business owner $50,000 grant

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One Brownsville business owner spent tens of thousands of dollars to improve his restaurant and now he is getting reimbursed.

Dennis Lekatsas has put his blood, sweat, and tears into Dennis' Place Pitkin Avenue.

He's owned the restaurant for 40 years and still helps behind the counter. 

"Seven days a week down here. Even if I miss a day coming to work, if I have to do something, still my mind and my heart is here,” says Lekatsas.

The Pitkin Avenue Business Improvement District awarded him a $50,000 reimbursement check for the restoration he's done to the facade.

The grant is part of the BID's Renaissance program, which gives money back to building owners who invest their own funds into their own properties in distressed neighborhoods and it's funded by the state. 

"Dennis’ is a legacy business here. He's been here for 40 years making breakfast for people, for generations of people, so he was easy to work with,” says Daniel Murphy, executive director of Pitkin Avenue BID.

Lekatsas bought the mixed-use building in 1980, but before that, he worked as a doughnut maker in his 20s when it was actually next door in the now-hair salon.

His history is leaving an impact on the community. 

“My daughter was 8 or 9 years old when we used to come here every Saturday and have breakfast and now she's 42 years old, so you could imagine," says one patron.

The BID added when other business owners sees these improvements, it'll become contagious, a positive contagion, because they'll want to replicate it, beautifying the neighborhood even more.

The BID already has four or five more of these grants in the pipeline.

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