Downtown Kent restaurant hopes to keep doors open and co-founder’s legacy alive

downtown kent restaurant hopes to keep doors open and co-founder’s legacy alive

Downtown Kent restaurant hopes to keep doors open and co-founder’s legacy alive

KENT, Ohio (WOIO) – One of the co-founders of GRAZERS Restaurant in Downtown Kent died on Thursday.

Carl Bauer battled a long fight with a rare blood disorder, antiphospholipid syndrome.

The restaurant’s owner, Stacey Lasher, said Bauer had hoped to receive a life-saving heart transplant toward the end of his life.

“They did everything they possibly could, the doctors, the nurses, the whole experience was absolutely perfect except for the fact that he was there, that he had to go through this,” Lasher said.

She said it was a dream come true when she opened the restaurant with Bauer in 2015.

“We just thought we need to make a difference in the world a different way, we weren’t going to be teaching anymore but that doesn’t mean we changed as people,” Lasher said.

Bauer and Lasher were former teachers who found a new passion in life; a restaurant that offered healthy options, especially for people with food allergies and sensitivities.

“The number one thing for him is his daughter is peanut allergic so he wanted to have a place that was 100% peanut free so she would feel she had a safe place to go,” Lasher said.

Bauer battled his own health issues for much of his life.

Lasher said he survived a heart attack at 23 years old.

“In 2014, he had started having some little strokes while he was teaching and he wasn’t really sure what was happening, but then he couldn’t use his right hand so he couldn’t write,” Lasher said. “Then he learned that he had disorder called antiphospholipid syndrome. It’s a very rare blood disorder.”

Despite these challenges, Lasher said he always worked hard with a positive spirit.

“He was the mastermind, he was the heart behind the food side of this,” Lasher said. “He always loved cooking.”

With this painful loss comes challenges ahead for the restaurant.

Lasher said they have set funds to receive donations to help keep the business open.

“I feel like without him here I need to carry on the decisions that we made together,” Lasher said. “I want to try to do that to make him proud and to continue the legacy that he left behind and to continue to make a difference.”

In honor of Bauer, GRAZERS Restaurant is also raising money for the APS Foundation of America, an organization that raises awareness and money for Antiphospholipid Syndrome.

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