Pub owner pulls $10K off his walls to help his laid-off staff in Florida

What once decorated the walls has now become a saving grace for staff at a Florida pub during the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the years, it became a tradition for patrons of Hott Leggz bar in Fort Lauderdale to write notes on dollar bills and staple them to the walls.

When times got rough during the virus outbreak, the owners had to lay off all but three of their staff members — but then they got an idea on how to help out.

“We were like, there’s literally money on the walls, so let’s donate it all to the employees,” co-owner Juliana Sodre told local radio station DISRN. “We always had a running joke that if something went wrong with the bar, at least we had worst-case-scenario money. Well, this is a worst-case scenario.”

Starting March 21, they carefully removed and cleaned thousands of dollar bills from the walls, ending up with around US$10,000 in cash to donate.

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The bar had been collecting these bills for nine years, the Sun Sentinel reports. Sodre’s favourite bill reads: “I love you forever.”

“It was a message my sister-in-law, who worked here, wrote to my nephew,” she told the publication. “She passed away last year.”

Co-owner Ky Novak says they plan to reinstate the dollar-bill tradition once their bar is up and running at full speed again.

“It’s important for us to take care of our employees,” Novak told DISRN.

“At the end of the day, it’s not life-changing money, but it can get them through the next week or two.”

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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