COVID-19: Aaron Rodgers Joins Effort to Save NYC Packers' Hangout

Aaron Rodgers poses with Kettle of Fish owners Patrick Dailey and Adriane Kufta.

Jeff Faraudo

Aaron Rodgers has given a boost to the efforts of a Green Bay Packers’ bar in New York City that is fighting for financial survival during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kettle of Fish Bar recently celebrated its 70th anniversary in multiple New York City locations. A resident of Greenwich Village for the past 21 years, the place once was a hangout for Jack Kerouac, Bob Dylan, Norman Mailer and other literary types.

Co-owner Patrick Dailey, who grew up in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, turned the bar into a home-away-from-home for Packers fans, who enjoy aged cheddar and Usinger’s brats and sing “I Love My Green Bay Packers” after each touchdown on game days. They’re even known to occasionally belt out “The Bears Still Suck Polka.”

Former Green Bay stars such as Jerry Kramer, John Brockington, and Dave Robinson have made game-day stops in the past.

According to a story in the Green Bay Press Gazette, the Village Voice in 2013 ranked the "1950-era subterranean Village lair" at No. 2 on its list of best sports bars in the city, and the New York Times called it as “a friendly slice of the Midwest in the bustling heart of Lower Manhattan.”

But like all bars in NYC, the Kettle was shut down in mid-March to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Dailey finally was convinced the begin a GoFundMe page to help meet the high rent payments.

“With full reopening still to come at a very limited capacity, we are asking for your support as we navigate this uncertain future and try to keep our doors open,” the GoFundMe page says.

Rodgers, the one-time Cal star about to begin his 16th season with the Packers, made an off-season visit to the Kettle in 2019 and had his photo taken with Dailey and co-owner Adriane Kufta.

Last week, apparently through word-of-mouth, Rodgers learned of the Kettle’s woes and re-tweeted the GoFundMe announcement, using #savethekettle.

Dailey, whose goals is to reach $100,000, told the Press Gazette that Rodgers’ mention on social media has been a big help.

"To tell you the truth, the whole thing has been heartwarming, people's responses, but it certainly put an extra skip in our step seeing Aaron tweet it. We were like, 'Whoa!'" Daley said.

As of Monday, one week after the fund was established, more than 800 contributors had donated $57,720.

Fans in Wisconsin and Manhattan are hopeful the Kettle can survive.

Green Bay native Annie Kiefer lives in Brooklyn and has been going to the Kettle for 10 years, according to the Press Gazette story.

"It truly is a little piece of Green Bay in the middle of the West Village,” she said. "It would be a real loss to the community if they couldn't make it through this crisis.”

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