General Merc reopens after fire, raises nearly $20K for displaced residents

The General Mercantile is back to serving customers one week after an electrical fire damaged businesses and displaced over 30 residents in the Iron Front Hotel building.

As of early Monday afternoon a GoFundMe set up by owners of the downtown coffee shop had raised $18,963 toward its $40,000 goal.

Scout Jenkins pulls a shot of espresso on Monday afternoon at the General Mercantile in downtown Helena. The coffee shop reopened a week after the fire in the Iron Front Hotel building.

THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record

Originally the first $5,000 donated was to compensate lost tips for Merc employees after the shop closed for a few days due to the mostly smoke and water damage. But, in an Instagram post over the weekend Lindsey Barnes, co-owner of the General Mercantile, announced all of the money raised will go to the building’s displaced residents.

“I’m sure with all disaster relief work the project becomes more monumental each day, and this one has. Because of that, Merc owners Lindsey and Aaron will NOT be withholding the ($5K) for staff tips as we requested. Instead

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