“We are devastated. My family, my team, my community has worked literal blood, sweat, and tears to build Bebot – Filipino Soul Food…But we’re grateful, so grateful that no one was hurt,” stated Bebot Filipino Food on their GoFundMe page.
Since March, when COVID-19 began to affect Long Beach, Bebot had shifted their restaurant operations to become a community kitchen.
With partnerships with Long Beach Community Action Partnership and the Filipino Migrant Center, they were able to provide thousands of meals to frontliners, seniors, migrant families and other communities.
Bebot had also been chosen to be a part of Long Beach’s Great Plates for Seniors program, and was set to provide over 1600 meals just for this week.
The grand opening of their restaurant was just this January. Bebot had originally started off as Rice and Shine, providing Filipino soul food at pop-ups and private events, before opening their establishment on 4th St.
The funds from their GoFundMe will go towards “finding and setting up a temporary space to run Bebot Community Kitchen Operations” and to help provide for the lost wages of the staff as they rebuild. They estimate it could take about a year.
“We may have lost our physical space but we haven’t lost our purpose…Bebot Community Kitchen will find a way to serve the people despite this setback,” said Bebot on an Instagram post.
As they rebuild, Bebot plans to continue serving the community with food assistance, policy advocating, and fundraising. They also plan on restructuring Bebot Community Kitchen as a nonprofit 501c3. They will also work on hosting pop-ups and meal kits so folks can still enjoy their Filipino dishes.
As of Thursday, Aug. 20, $8,844 of their $25,000 goal has been raised.
It took Long Beach firefighters about a half-hour early Monday, to put out flames inside Bebots Filipino Food after an alarm summoned firefighters just after 3 a.m. to their location on 2741 E 4th St., said Long Beach fire Capt. Jack Crabtree. Flames were out about 3:30 a.m.
Firefighters managed to contain the flames to the unit of origin but heavy smoke got into a veterinary business next door and firefighters removed at least two cats from the smoke and turned them over to animal control officers, Crabtree said.
Arson investigators were summoned to the scene, and no injuries were reported.