Georgia bar takes thousands of dollars off wall to help coronavirus effort

Coronavirus: Georgia bar takes thousands of dollar bills off walls to help employees

The Sand Bar had collected dollar bills signed by patrons over 15 years

Andrew Naughtie@andrewnaughtie
Friday 10 April 2020 19:23

As Georgia shuts down businesses to halt the spread of coronavirus, a restaurant well-known for being festooned with banknotes has taken them down off the walls to pay its now-unemployed staff.

The Sand Bar, a popular haunt on Georgia’s Tybee Island, had myriad dollar bills signed by patrons then pinned and stapled to its walls. Now that its doors are shuttered thanks to Georgia’s stay-at-home order, the banknotes have finally been counted thanks to the efforts of owner Jennifer Knox, who wanted to make sure her staff could survive the bruising lockdown.

It now turns out the money on the Sand Bar’s walls came to a value of $3,714. And when combined with donations from customers who heard about the plan, the sum total distributed to staff is $4,104.

Speaking to CNN, Ms Knox described how the idea came to her. “We were sitting there doors locked and I’m like oh my gosh, there’s money on the walls and we have time on our hands.

“We gotta get this money down.”

Writing on the restaurant’s Facebook page, she said the response to coverage of her plan had been overwhelming – and that she is making moves to help round up donations for newly unemployed people on Tybee Island, a tourist hotspot that relies heavily on visitors to support jobs.

“I’ve set up a Venmo account, not only for my employees and musicians, but any other service industry person on tybee that needs the help. If you are feeling called to donate, here’s how. 100% is going to the people. We will get through this! And I can’t wait to sling some drinks for you all soon!!!”

As in many US states enforcing lockdowns, small businesses are particularly badly affected by Georgia’s stay-at home order, which has now been extended until the end of April. With in-person dining banned, bars and restaurants are turning to delivery to support themselves and their employees.

Georgia has been hit hard by the coronavirus, with more than 10,000 confirmed cases and 370 deaths. Last week, Mr Kemp said he only recently discovered that the virus can be spread by people not yet showing symptoms, a fact he described as “a game-changer” even though it was well-known even before the virus began spreading rapidly in the US.


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