New Jersey restaurant with fear of coronavirus has remained open thanks to the generosity of a nearby barbershop

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Following a positive coronavirus test among its staff, the Würstbar restaurant in Jersey City has decided to temporarily close to allow for quarantine and testing of staff.

“Würstbar is a small team led by an extremely hardworking and loyal staff,” the company said in an Instagram post. “Managing the restaurant with only unexposed employees is not an option for us at the moment. ”

According to Aaron Kahn, the owner of Würstbar, November 5 was to be the restaurant’s last night of service – a major punch, as his company and his team of nearly 20 had managed to stay afloat since the start of the pandemic.

It was also to be a nice warm weekend and the closure would certainly result in a significant loss of income.

“Basically I was kind of miserable,” Khan told CNN. “I was afraid for my staff, quite devastated – worried about the company. I was a little defeated because we had hung on for this whole pandemic. We had no one before this got Covid. “Responding to the call, Virile Barber & Shop owner Andre Fersa and boyfriend Joe Mercurio came to the restaurant’s aid, volunteering their time to run the establishment on November 7th.

“The manly barber shop takes over Wurstbar today to help quarantined staff,” Fersa said on Instagram. “The weather is too good to let our neighbors in Wurstbar remain closed! ”

From there they were gone and were running.

A friendship rooted in a community

Ahead of Fersa’s Instagram post, longtime friends – based on Fersa being Kahn’s go-to hairstylist – met to discuss the situation. That’s when Fersa offered to help run the restaurant for the weekend. Kahn, after consulting with his girlfriend, called Fersa the next morning and accepted his offer.

“My boyfriend (Joe) and I were a little dizzy about it, just the novelty of what we’re about to do,” Fersa told CNN. “And I couldn’t wait to be there because it was a beautiful day – it gave me a reason to be outside and to be outside.”

Fersa says Kahn gave the two men a basic overview of operations and was immediately confident in their abilities – ultimately giving them “the keys” to run the show for the day.

Although Würstbar was unable to provide a full bar and kitchen with such a small and inexperienced staff, the drinks and pretzels they were selling were just enough to make the day worth it, with a little income to start, says Kahn.

The story of Würstbar quickly spread online and people came from all over the region to support the restaurant.

“I mean, everyone came to support,” Kahn said. “Lots of locals, patrons, other business owners – they filled all of our outside tables. ”

For Kahn and Fersa, the experience represents the strength of community, where individuals and small businesses support each other.

Würstbar closed after Saturday night’s race, but after a series of rigorous Covid-19 tests and negative results, the restaurant is fully operational again.

The hashtag #neighborshelpingneighbors was used to describe everything, much to the admiration of many of the restaurant’s followers.

“The community really absorbed it and reposted it on the internet and totally supported us,” Fersa said. “I know Aaron would do the same for me. “

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