A wave of hospitality workers have been laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic, and a St. Petersburg Italian restaurant is trying to keep those workers fed.
Gratzzi Italian Grille, located at 211 Second St. S., has been giving away free meals to laid off hospitality and food service personnel since March 18. The restaurant says it has already given out 500 meals and plans to continue until supplies run out.
Each meal, which is served daily from 12 p.m.-2 p.m., comes with a salad, fresh bread and an entree.
So far, the entrees have included lasagna, eggplant parmesan, pappardelle bolognese, short ribs with mushrooms risotto, pesto parmesan risotto with bacon-wrapped shrimp, barbecue ribs and chicken parmesan.
In a press release, the restaurant’s owner, Tony Mangiafico, who also owns St. Pete’s Flute & Dram, said the community’s response has been overwhelming and that he hopes people know the importance of supporting small businesses.
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