With the huge impact the coronavirus shutdown is having on local restaurants, some have turned to crowdfunding to help support their furloughed staff, some of whom may be struggling to make ends meet. Among them are Braveheart Highland Pub in Hellertown, and Steel Club in Hellertown and Lower Saucon Township.
Braveheart recently established a GoFundMe to raise $20,000 to help compensate dozens of its laid-off staff members. As of Tuesday, friends of the popular Scottish restaurant on Main Street had contributed more than $7,000 toward the goal, along with messages of support like “stay healthy and strong” and “we’ll see you soon!”
The pub was hit especially hard due to the timing of the shutdown, which began the day before St. Patrick’s Day; traditionally its busiest day of the year.
“We are especially concerned about our 50-plus employees,” said the author of Braveheart’s GoFundMe campaign, Gabriella Haklar, whose father Andy Lee owns the restaurant. “Our employees are a family and we hate seeing everyone struggle financially.”
Like most other restaurants in the area, Braveheart remains open, however due to the current prohibition on indoor dining that took effect March 16 it is currently only able to fulfill orders for carryout and delivery food and beer.
In response to increasing demand for additional social distancing, the pub has introduced an innovative contactless curbside carryout option that completely eliminates physical contact between the few staff who are still working and customers. It has also moved its popular Tuesday trivia night online, with instructions for how to play–and win–available on its Facebook page.
Carryout orders can be placed by calling the restaurant at 610-838-6555 or online at BraveheartHighlandPub.com. For delivery, customers can call or utilize the DoorDash app (fees apply if using the app).
Steel Club is another large employer in the Hellertown area, and in addition to its restaurant staff, employees who work in other areas at the club have also been furloughed as a result of the shutdown.
In the club’s case, the GoFundMe for displaced staff was established by a longtime member, Bob Price; something general manager Tom Butera and owner David Spirk described as “an act of kindness.”
As of Tuesday, more than $11,400 had been raised by the GoFundme campaign toward a goal of $50,000.
“In the Beam Yard and Blackplate Ballroom, Steel Club employees create an incredibly welcoming environment and always cater to my fellow members’ and our guests’ needs,” Price wrote in the description for the campaign. “It is my understanding that there are over 50 employees laid off. … Anything you can give to help Steel Club employees through this very difficult time would be greatly appreciated!”
Just like at Braveheart, in addition to supporting the GoFundMe campaign, patrons can also support the club by continuing to order food, beer and wine for curbside pickup.
The club is even offering an “Easter Brunch To Go” option for anyone who might be missing the traditional ham-filled holiday meal.
A membership number is required to place to-go orders, however there is no cost to becoming a dining member. For more information about becoming a Steel Club member as well as current menu options, hours and ordering instructions, click here.
At present, the statewide shutdown affecting Steel Club, Braveheart and hundreds of other local restaurants as well as their employees is expected to continue at least until April 30.
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