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After Pandemic Prompts Closure, Vienna Eatery Starts GoFundMe for Staff

Just weeks after its official opening, the owner of the Bear Branch Tavern in Vienna made the “particularly heartbreaking” decision to temporarily close due to the coronavirus pandemic.

To help the restaurant’s employees, who are now temporarily jobless, owners Chris Lefbom and Adam Lubar created a GoFundMe page on Sunday (March 22) that has already collected roughly $1,200 and counting.

The page has a goal of $5,000 right now and the description said that the proceeds raised from the page will get split between full-time and part-time employees.

“We had to seriously consider our hourly (both in the Front and Back of the House) team members who rely on their paychecks and tips to live,” the owners wrote on the GoFundMe page.

It is unclear at the moment when Bear Branch Taven will reopen but an announcement on the eatery’s Facebook page said that the owners will do so when they feel the time is right — with respect to the health and safety of the community.

“The team at Bear Branch is a new family and we want to help make sure the family is taken care of and is there for you when we open our doors again,” the page said.

Photo via Bear Branch Tavern/Facebook

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