Restaurants across Boston planned fundraising events Wednesday night to benefit victims of the Boston Marathon attack and their families — including some of their own.
The two bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed three and injured more than 180 people who were packed into the city’s Back Bay neighborhood Monday for the race.
Among those killed was 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, a former catering operations manager at Jasper White’s Summer Shack, who had worked for the chain for nine years at various locations. About six months ago she was hired by Jimmy’s Steer House in Arlington Heights, Mass., where she worked as an assistant dining room manager.
Jeff Dugan, partner and director of operations for Summer Shack parent Shack Foods of America, said his assistant Karen Rand was with Campbell at the race and was seriously wounded, but was in stable condition in the hospital on Wednesday.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Karen as with Krystle, their families and the many people affected by this tragedy,” Dugan said. “We have consulted with a grief counselor and they are available to any and all employees. Our company is like a family and we are all doing our best to process the tragedy.”
On the Summer Shack Facebook page, a posting described Campbell as “an incredible woman, always full of energy and hard at work, but never too tired to share her love and a smile with everyone. She was an inspiration to all of us.”
The bombings also took the lives of 8-year-old Martin Richard and Boston University graduate student Lingzu Lu.
Summer Shack’s Boston location is among more than 20 restaurants within a cordoned-off crime scene that remained closed Wednesday as investigators searched for clues.
One of the explosions occurred on the patio of the fine-dining restaurant Forum, injuring several guests, runners and some of the restaurant’s staff. The restaurant, which is owned by Boston Nightlife Ventures, was also severely damaged and will be closed indefinitely, according to a posting on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
“The images of horror and pain that some of us witnessed will be hard to forget,” the posting said.
It went on to thank the Boston Police, Fire Department and emergency workers who responded. "We’d also like to thank the members of our own staff and guests who went above and beyond, helping those injured,” the posting said.
Others restaurants within the crime scene expected their restaurants would remain closed through Thursday at least, said Sara Barker, spokeswoman for Emeryville, Calif.-based Tavistock Restaurants, which operates three restaurants very near the blast sites. Those units include Atlantic Fish Co., which was only two doors east of one of the bomb targets on Boylston Street, as well as Abe & Louie’s and Joe’s American Bar & Grill.
The three restaurants had no reports of injuries among guests or employees, Barker said. The Atlantic Fish unit and Abe & Louie’s are within the closed-off area, but Joe’s American was able to reopen Tuesday, serving all in uniform for free and bringing sandwiches to firefighters and police on the street.
Tom O’Brien, a regional manager of Joe’s American Bar & Grill, was standing near the front door of the packed restaurant on Monday, about 100 yards away from the blast site, when he heard the explosions.
“It was loud. And it was fairly obvious what it was,” he said. “We started seeing many, many people running toward us and past the restaurant to get away from the scene.”
O’Brien said his first impulse was making sure the 260 or so customers and staff members that were in the restaurant at the time could be evacuated safely.
“The guests stood up and made for the door,” he said. “We just tried to keep everything orderly.”
After guests were evacuated, the restaurant’s “tribe members” stayed and cleaned up quickly, and O’Brien sent them home. The management team stayed a bit longer to lock up.
When the restaurant reopened Tuesday, a security guard was placed at the door to make guests feel a bit more safe, O’Brien said.
“One thing I know about this restaurant: If we are able to open, we are open,” he said.
“I can’t tell you the amount of pride I feel for the people who work here. There are 30 employees that, come hell or high water, came in to serve.”
Wednesday was designated as a night of fundraising for restaurants across the city.
More than 50 restaurants had signed on to donate a percentage of sales to the Greg Hill Foundation, which offered direct support for those who were injured.
Among restaurants participating was Boston-based burrito chain Boloco, whose chief financial officer and chief operating officer Patrick Renna ran in the Boston Marathon, crossing the finish line shortly before the bombs exploded, a company spokeswoman said.
On Tuesday, Boloco enlisted members of the Back Bay Cycling team to deliver burritos to police and others working the crime scene.
Other restaurants also found creative ways to help out.
The Mexican restaurant El Pelon Taqueria, with two locations in Boston, offered to take in temporarily displaced workers from restaurants that remained closed near the blast site. By Wednesday morning, two workers had taken the restaurant up on the offer, said manager Jose Torres.
El Pelon’s locations were so busy, they needed the extra help, so his own workers did not have to cut back their hours to accommodate the two temporary staffers, he said.
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