Hard Times Café General Manager Dies from COVID-19: Go Fund Me Supports Family

Mike Dankwa worked at Hard Times since 2002.

ALEXANDRIA, VA – On Friday, February 19th, Mike Dankwa, beloved husband, father, and General Manager at Hard Time Café Alexandria, passed away from COVID-19. Cindy MacIntyre, along with Hard Times Café owner Richard Kelly, have organized a Go Fund Me to help pay for Mike’s funeral, as well as support his family in the times to come.

Mike leaves behind his wife and three children (a college student, a high school senior, and an elementary school student) in Virginia, and his mother in Ghana.

Originally from Ghana, Mike came to America and attended George Mason University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree. In 2002, he began working at Hard Times Café as an assistant manager. He quickly worked his way up to General Manager.

Hard Times Cafe, is an anchor in Old Town Alexandria and was founded in 1980 by Fred Parker, who passed away in May 2020. (Photo: John Porter)

“As a manager, Mike was firm and consistent. He was a good friend and listener, and always helpful. He was always out and about in the community,” says Lorna King, a manager at Hard Times Café Alexandria.

Lorna details Mike’s passing as a “shock,” as she and two other managers step up to the difficult task of filling his role.

“His passing was very sad and very unexpected,” Lorna continues.  “Everyone will miss his presence.”

Carol Palmateer, a previous employee of six years under Mike, expresses the gravity of losing that presence, “He wasn’t just my boss. He became a very dear friend. What breaks my heart is through his month long battle in the hospital, his family was not allowed to be with him. It is a heartbreaking and tremendous loss for his family, friends, and employees.”

Mike loved his family, his work, and playing golf and hockey. Mike’s family, friends, and colleagues ask for whoever to donate whatever they can. The goal is $50,000; $1,755 has already been donated. You can find the Go Fund Me link here.

In addition to the Go Fund Me fundraiser, Hard Times Café will be collecting funds for Mike’s family on Friday, February 26, at the restaurant.

Funeral service announcements are forthcoming.

MORE: SAYING GOODBYE: Hard Times Founder Fred Parker Gets Hundreds of Voicemails Near End of Life Thanking Him