- June 24, 2016

Austinites Rush To Support Downtown Bar Owner Involved In Hit And Run

Scott Cook, owner of The Gatsby downtown, was on his way to work on his motorcycle on Saturday, June 18, when he was struck by another vehicle. He ended up with a broken wrist, ribs, clavicle, and a collapsed lung. To make matters worse, it was a hit-and-run accident, leaving Cook and family stuck with every bit of the bills and pain.

Then, an amazing thing happened. One of Cook’s best friends and fellow bar owner, Brett Vance of Handlebar, set up a GoFundMe page for Cook and his family. Amazingly, the page managed to raise over $20,000 in just two days.

He has undergone several surgeries to control internal bleeding and to remove his spleen as well as a laundry list of other injuries,” friends explained online. “He is currently in the ICU but expected to make a full recovery.”

So far there are three very easy ways to support Cook and his family, and two of them involve drinking, so there’s really no excuse not to. We are the booziest city per capita in the U.S., or so we’re told. Let’s get to it!

Your first option is to go have a drink or two at The Gatsby. The bar will be operated by Cook’s business partner, and various bartenders from around town will be filling his shifts while he recovers. Plus, The Gatsby has really, really good craft cocktails.

Here’s an old video of Cook making cocktails and talking about the bar when it first opened in 2013:

Next on the list is an event a little later down the line, the Friends Helping Friends Birthday Bash at Craftsman. This event on July 14 celebrates the birthdays of Craftsman’s owner, Brandon, and General Manager, Jarred. Meanwhile, they’re also raising funds for Cook. Ten percent of bar sales from the event will be donated to the cause. They’ll have complimentary cocktails from 7-8 p.m., and DJ Beatsmode will be donating his musical talents to the party from 7-10 p.m.

Finally, the third option — easily the biggest way you can help — is to donate directly. Cook is not the type of guy who is big on taking help from others, but that certainly didn’t stop his friends from doing everything that they could to help.

Being Scott’s friends, we are just as hard headed and stubborn as he is. So when he told us he absolutely, 100%, did not want us to start one of these online scammy things, and would figure out a way to handle it on his own, we took that as, ‘Yes, go for it, I think that it is a lovely idea and you have my full support.’

“The funds raised will be used to support Scott and his family in any way that is needed,” the GoFundMe page explains. “Including for medical bills for him, for medical bills related to the birth of his daughter, who is expected to join this rager we call life in 3 weeks, child care, living expenses, and any other financial burdens, regular or unexpected, that may arise over the course of Scott’s recovery and time out of work…Maybe a spa day for Jade after all this is over because she could surely use it.”

From the sound of it, Cook has a long road ahead of him — and a new baby on the way. So even though the tip jar is filling up, it’s not nearly full enough.

“Being members of the service industry we all live different lives than the rest of society,” Cook’s friends wrote. “We are a collection of Black Sheep. To those outside our circle we are the boozers, the fighters, and the Ne’er do gooders. Inside our circle anybody could tell you we are a close crew. We look out for our own no matter the cost. We are family, and without it we are nothing. Please come together and show some love for this family.”


Featured photo from GoFundMe page