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Chula Vista’s Brew Bar loses lease month after man’s controversial rant

A new problem for a South Bay coffee shop could force it to close its doors. The Brew Bar said its lease is suddenly being sold by the end of the month.

CHULA VISTA, Calif. — "We have live music every night. This is a safe space for everybody, and people feel safe here and yes, it's like a home away from home for a lot of people, and it's unfortunate that it has come to this,” said Brew Bar Cafe Manager Sabrina Heimer.

Heimer said the days are numbered for the coffee shop restaurant on Third Avenue in Chula VIsta.

"It's either we raise the money and buy the space out or we get out of here," Heimer said.

Heimer said the corporation that holds the lease to Brew Bar's space is selling it for $100,000, and that the push to sell came right after the business made headlines following a man walking in on Dec. 1 and shouting expletives due to a Black Lives Matter sign hanging up in the front window.

Chula Vista Police later arrested 68-year-old Howard Freelove and gave him a citation for misdemeanor vandalism, after Freelove was shown damaging the Brew Bar's door. Heimer said the Brew Bar has received negative attention in response.

"We just received hate mail and we've gotten a lot of different things," Heimer said.

In an effort to save Brew Bar and stay in the same location, the business is holding a fundraiser with live music, vendors and food on Saturday, January 15 from 10 am until 7 pm. The business also has a Gofundme page set up to raise $100,000 by Jan. 31.

"We definitely do need a lot of help,” Heimer said.

Now Brew Bar customers are stepping in.

"I'm just a couple blocks away and I love going there and getting my favorite mint tea cold brew,” said customer and comedienne Sandy Guerrero.

Guerrero said she is organizing a comedy show at the end of the January 15 fundraiser to help.

“It will basically be the finale after all of the music and festivities are done and then we will tell some jokes. I have a good lineup, I have five comedians and one headliner, who is Neil Singh, and he's really funny,” Guerrero said.

Brew Bar supporters hope the business can raise enough money in time.

"If everyone could get together, let's keep the Brew Bar there because it is one thing that stands out from the rest, a local place where we can relax,” Guerrero said.

Heimer said, “part of me thinks that we are going to pull through and make it but  there is the other part of me that thinks that we may not be able to raise enough money and time, we have until the end of January, so it is really cutting it close.”

WATCH RELATED: Chula Vista police arrest man for vandalism after screaming rampage at coffee shop