The owner of historic pub and restaurant The Shakespeare is hoping fundraising through crowdfunding site Givealittle can save the business.
Covid-19 and the impact of the City Rail Link construction has brought the tavern to its knees and owner Sunny Kaushal says it is looking likely that the business might not make it to its 125th anniversary next year - unless he can raise at least $500,000.
Kaushal, who bought the business in 2017, said it had suffered losses exceeding $2 million and the debts continue to mount.
"Just last week, again I had to put in another $10,000 from my own pocket to pay wages, rent and invoices," he said.
The Restaurant Association says many restaurateurs are finding themselves in a dire situation, particularly in Auckland.
Kaushal said many customers, who had been keeping away from the CBD, had been returning to The Shakespeare after reading about its plight in a recent Weekend Herald report.
"The story has surely touched many of them, but last week's three-day lockdown has brought a stop to this," he said.
"Looking at our dire situation, some well wishers and customers have strongly asked me to set up a Givealittle page, and I am hoping that can help."
As at 3.30pm on Monday - three days after the page was set up - the amount raised was just $336 contributed by seven donors.
Kaushal said if he wasn't able to raise the funds, the business was at risk of shutting its doors "maybe forever".
"Generations of Kiwis have enjoyed a good feed and our craft beers brewed right here at this iconic tavern, also New Zealand's oldest microbrewery pub," the page says.
"As a result of external factors including a prolonged CRL roadworks followed by Covid-19, this historic pub has been brought to the brink of extinction."
The Victorian-style brink pub built in 1898 on the corner of Wyndham and Albert Streets was once owned by former All Black hooker Ron Ulrich.
Kaushal said he took over the business wanting to continue the century old tradition, but have been facing hurdles since it opened.
"The business is now losing up to $10,000 a week," he said.
"We as owners have put our lives on the line, invested our savings but now it has gone beyond us."
Kaushal said he has been borrowing money to keep the business open but doesn't know how much longer he can go on.
"Without any other help or support from the Government to small businesses, we are struggling and turning to Givealittle is our last resort," he said.
Restaurant Association Marisa Bidois said many restaurateurs are finding themselves in a dire situation, particularly in Auckland and off the back of the recent alert level changes.
"We have not been notified of any others using the Givealittle page keep the doors open but we have seen members take other measures to stay afloat including moving out of their homes, reducing staff numbers and opening hours and not paying themselves a salary," she said.
"Many are in very precarious personal financial situations."
Bidois said many have also streamlined their offerings and reduced opening hours.
The association has started a campaign to encourage the public to support hospitality called "Dine out, Take Out".
"We also continue to lobby the Government for targeted financial assistance for our industry," Bidois added.