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Cape Coral restaurant holding barbecues to benefit hospitality workers without jobs

Posted at 8:43 AM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 09:56:22-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — A Cape Coral restaurant and bar has adapted to survive the Coronavirus pandemic, and is paying it forward to help others in the service industry who are without jobs because of the "Safer at Home" order.

Shannon Yates, the owner and head cook at Nevermind Awesome Bar & Eatery, said between his restaurant and their food truck, they're able to thrive during this time.

"Every day, we've got two different venues that are doing lunch and dinner until about 8 o’clock," he said.

But other businesses in South Cape Coral aren't so lucky. Many of the bars have had to shut down to abide by Governor DeSantis's direction to close all bars and clubs.

Bailey Allen has been a bartender at Rack'em Spirits & Times in South Cape Coral for five years, but she's been out of a job since the bar closed last month.

"Where do we go from there? How long is this going to be? It’s definitely been quite the time trying to figure out what to do and saving money,” she said.

"I've been hearing these horror stories about these kids that are racking up on couches and not working because the bars can’t be open right now," Yates said.

So he and his staff wanted to help workers like Allen. On Sundays from 2-5 PM, he's holding backyard barbecues outside of Nevermind, and all of the money made, is going to staff at other nearby bars, who are out of work.

"The kitchen staff is very strong, and there’s enough juice in the tank here with these guys, and they said 'Let’s get after these other guys that unfortunately can’t work right now.' I’ve known a lot of them for a long time, and these bars are a staple of downtown here," Yates said. "Getting up on Sunday morning for something like this, it feels good."

Nevermind is selling $15 barbecue boxes with your choice of beef, pork, or chicken with sides. The money made at their barbecue on April 19th went to the staff at The Dek. Yates said they were prepared to sell 300 boxes.

"That was over a hundred something pounds of meat. We ran out, we ran back to the store as fast as we could to cook more, so we ended up doing over 500 boxes of barbecue,” Yates said.

Their barbecue on April 26th will go to the staff at Rack'em, where Allen works. She said she'll be there to pitch in.

"For someone to think about doing that out of their time and their money, and help out the rest of us, it’s a really great community thing," Allen said. "I know it's been difficult. and I've got it a lot easier than the rest of my coworkers do. And that's who I hope to see benefit from this the most."

Yates said their barbecue scheduled for May 3rd will benefit the workers at Rusty's Raw Bar & Grill.

He said they'll continue to hold these barbecues as long as these bars are shut down, and wants to remind anyone who plans to go: these are not big parties. If you show up, you must practice social distancing while waiting for your to-go order, and then leave.