Lansing staple Golden Harvest plagued by old building

Published: Nov. 27, 2019 at 4:22 PM EST
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A Lansing favorite, Golden Harvest Restaurant in Old Town, closed Wednesday for the fourth time since last week due to a leaky roof, and that's just the start of its troubles.

Owner Vanessa Vicknair says she is working on getting a new roof because the building is just old and beyond simple repairs.

"The people that come here are amazing. It's makes working here really nice," said Vicknair. "It's more to them than just coming to eat. This is kinda like their place."

Golden Harvest is an icon in the Lansing community, it's known as a quaint diner full of odd collectible items.

"Stuff just shows up, like people will bring things in. There are things in here that we don't even know where they came from," said Vicknair.

Customers will wait hours in line for the food, experience, and to potentially share a table with a stranger.

But on Wednesday, there was no line and the sign in front of the restaurant read, "Closed for the rest of the day."

"It was raining, we were all worried about the rain and it was looking good and an hour in we started leaking so we had to shut down," said Vicknair.

The issues are a tell of the age of a building which is almost 70 years old.

"It's awful, and people get bummed out when they come to eat, and obviously, people that work here like to work and make money, so it's hard on them," said Vicknair about having to close the doors.

She purchased the restaurant about 15 years ago and since then, on top of the leaky roof, she's had a fire, pipe issues, heating issues, and a broken grill vent system.

"Some stuff got updated out of necessity then," explained Vicknair.

Now she's looking at a total restoration and new roof, but the price on that could cost $60,000, and right now, Vicknair can't afford it.

"We're small. We do breakfast and we don't have a lot of seats, so massive building restoration projects are just not in the budget," said Vicknair.

If you'd like to help Golden Harvest meet their $60,000 goal, you can donate at their gofundme link


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