Vancouver restaurant steps up with free meals for impacted food service workers


"We have the ability to do this and if we provide that service, we're going to do it."

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — A Vancouver restaurant is looking to make a difference in the lives of other food service workers impacted by the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The view from Beaches Restaurant‘s deck overlooking the Columbia River is about the only thing that’s the same, as a skeleton crew inside the restaurant cooks for take out-only orders.

By closing doors, the restaurant could save money; however, longtime owner Mark Mathias decided to not only keep the lights on – he’s offering free take out meals to laid off food service workers.

“We just decided to open it up to all restaurant people that are affected by this lockdown,” Mathias said. “We have the ability to do this and if we provide that service, we’re going to do it.”

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

The move to offer free meals to those impacted is in keeping with the restaurant’s guiding principle of giving back to the community. Mathias says he’s made sure Beaches isn’t just a business and that it’s part of the Vancouver community by sponsoring events, giving money, and, in this case, providing free meals to restaurant workers who were the first casualty in the coronavirus shutdown.

“This is a huge impact and the hardest part of all of this,” Mathias said. “Business will be okay — we’re all draining a little bit, but it’s really about the teams that are out there and trying to get them back and do stuff for them. That’s the sad part for me in all of this.”

The food service worker free meal deal is also good at downtown Vancouver’s Main Event. It’s also one among many examples of people stepping up and doing good things in the face of a backdrop that increasingly looks bleak.

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