Neighborhood Eats: Federico's in Belmar paying it forward to Jersey Shore Medical

BELMAR, New Jersey (WABC) -- So many restaurants are trying to make a go of it, and one in Belmar was proactive early on, but never actually anticipated that one of its owners would get sick.

"Right now I feel 100%," said Bryan Morin, Federico's.

Morin is back at work after getting sick with COVID-19. He and his brother Michael closed their restaurant Federico's for 10 days after that test came back positive.

Ten days of no income, but in mid-March when the coronavirus started rearing its head, they took out a line of credit.

"We made this decision before they even started talking about the SBA PPP loan program," Morin said. "We said we can't afford to wait for the federal government to decide what they're going to do. I think it was the best decision."

It sure was on a number of levels. It kept them solvent when they closed. But also, when word spread that they had taken out a line of credit to keep paying their 22 employees, their goodwill came right back to them.

"We had the busiest three weeks on record since we opened 24 years ago," Morin said. "We had customers coming from New Brunswick to support the cause, truly amazing."

With all that support and donations, they've been able to give back as well to Jersey Shore Medical.

"We go at 12 and 8 hit both shifts. Both shifts," Morin said.

Normally, Federico's is filled with families, but now those families are keeping this business going with pick-ups and deliveries. But these owners want to share their good fortune.

"The outpouring of support is great and we thank everybody for it but just don't think about us, think about local businesses," Morin said.

It's a true sign of their commitment to the community. Federico's is open every day for takeout 11-8. A large pizza is $14, so considering donating one and it will be delivered to Jersey Shore Medical.

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