Punky’s Bar and Grill suspends operations, launches fundraiser

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Punky’s Bar and Grill, photo by Ryan Williams-Jent.

ST. PETERSBURG | Punky’s Bar and Grill has suspended operations and launched a fundraiser for employees in response to COVID-19, the coronavirus declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

The news follows Gov. Ron DeSantis’ March 20 executive order suspending on-premises dining and alcohol consumption at restaurants across Florida. It limited establishments to takeout and delivery orders only.

“Good Morning and Happy Monday!” Punky’s shared via social media March 23. “We had to make a very tough decision this morning regarding Punky’s Bar & Grill. After much thought we decided to suspend operations at this time.

“We appreciate all the support we have received over the last few days,” the announcement continues. “We are setting up a Go Fund Me page for staff and will be dispersing the tips received from our customers who graciously gave during the online ordering.”

Good Morning and Happy Monday! We had to make a very tough decision this morning regarding Punky's Bar & Grill. After…

Posted by Punky's Bar and Grill on Monday, March 23, 2020

“SOS Save Our Staff. This is an unprecedented time for all of us, especially our servers, bartenders and cooks,” Punky’s subsequently shared via social media March 24. “We are so thankful for the 17 employees who work so hard everyday at Punky’s! The reality is they are STRESSED! They don’t know how they will pay their rent, bills, and put food on the table for their families.

“We are hopeful this will be short lived and we can get back to normal soon but it may be awhile,” the post continues. “This will serve as an Employee Fund and are hopeful that you, our loyal customers, will help us by showing your love through a online tip. Once Punky’s is back up and running we will shower you will love and appreciation. Thank you for any amount you can give. We love you all. A big celebration is to come for us all on the other side of this!”

The post and link to the fundraiser can be accessed below:

SOS Save Our Staff. This is an unprecedented time for all of us, especially our servers, bartenders and cooks.We are…

Posted by Punky's Bar and Grill on Tuesday, March 24, 2020

For more information about Punky’s, visit their website. For the latest updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the LGBTQ communities in Tampa Bay and Central Florida, view Watermark’s frequently updated coverage here.

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