Published: 09:58, 21 July 2021
| Updated: 16:16, 21 July 2021
Chef Tom Kerridge and food critic Jay Rayner are among those fighting to save a Kent restaurant - with £30,000 raised in less than 24 hours.
Bosses at JoJo's in Tankerton say their lease is due to expire next year and desperately need to raise cash after being offered a deal by the landlord.
They launched a fundraiser with a £100,000 target yesterday which has already attracted support from the famous names.
Tom Kerridge shared a link to the crowdfunder and tweeted: "One of the greatest restaurants I know!"
Jay Rayner also offered his support, saying: "I love @jojostankerton and they need help."
The Mediterranean-influenced eatery - described as "one of the jewels of Whitstable" - was established by chef Nikki Billington and Paul Watson front-of-house in 2000.
They have been based in Herne Bay Road by Tankerton seafront since 2010. But the lease ends in July next year and the landlord wants to sell the property.
However, it has been offered to the owners of the restaurant at a "great price" and they have until October 8 to raise the cash.
The eatery employs 22 staff and is popular with locals and visitors to the area.
Its first incarnation was a mobile café before Ms Billington converted her high street "bedsit" into a meze bar, the aim of which was to create a "relaxed, feel-good neighbourhood restaurant" to feed family and friends.
The eatery was popular with locals and visitors, and even bagged a good review from Jay Rayner.
They decided to expand in 2010 and bagged their current building near the scenic Tankerton Slopes.
The crowdfunder page states: "From humble beginnings in the front room of our home on the high street, we have thrown everything physically, financially and mentally into JoJo’s to be where it is today.
"This incredible building overlooking the sea has been our home for the last 10 years.
"But the lease has come to an end, and the building will be put up for sale, and for JoJo’s to survive we need to raise the funds to buy it."
The crowdfunder is also being backed by well-known local figures.
Julie Wassmer, author of the Whitstable Pearl books, said: "Our fab restaurant @jojostankerton needs help with this crowdfunder as its lease is coming to an end, please read, give what you can & please RT!"
Canterbury and Whitstable MP Rosie Duffield said: "Easily one of the jewels in #Whitstable - (and my favourite place to escape with one of my besties). The food is always incredible and the 'After Eight' cocktail.... Please help out and save it if you can!"
The owners have set a £100,000 target on their Crowdfunder and more than £31,000 has been raised so far.
To donate, click here.