Employees Only Restaurant and Bar raised a whopping $11,500 in support of the staff at Jones Hollywood Cafe during a Jones Takeover event on Tuesday night. The restaurant hosted a fundraiser in solidarity with Jones, a popular restaurant which is currently closed due to a car collision that caused structural damage to the cafe room, rendering it non-operational earlier this month. The Jones Hollywood takeover ran from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. and supporters formed a line outside Employees Only the entire night.
“The event was full of positive energy,” Tom Sopit, one of the managing partners at Employees Only, told WEHO TIMES. “Everyone knew what they were there for. There were plenty of donations for raffles. We had 200 hats and pretty much sold all of them. It was great. It was really great.”
Sopit says Keith McCarthy, who runs Jones, told him that he salvaged the grille that fell out of the car that crashed into the restaurant. “He kept that grille, and he brought it to us,” he said. “I told him I had an idea, and we decided to auction it off. We made $1,300 off of that grille. It was great!”
Sopit, with the help of Eddie Johnson, Kacie Lambert and Joshua Jancewicz, put together the event. The Jones bartenders also collaborated in the creative process, but they weren’t sure how successful the event would be.
Sopit says he believed there would be some form of success, but he had no idea they would raise over $10,000. “It just came together really quickly,” he said. “That was the only reason I had reservations. we had ten days to put it together, including Thanksgiving, so for that Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, no one really responded, so we only had seven days to put it together, but they all came in droves. The hospitality industry people were very, very supportive.”
He added that representatives from the City of West Hollywood also showed up at the event to show their support of the Jones employees who are currently collecting unemployment. He acknowledged the presence of WeHo Mayor Pro-Tem John Erickson, City Manager David Wilson, and Director of Community Safety, Danny Rivas who were at the event Tuesday night.
Jones Hollywood Cafe currently sits empty surrounded by caution tape with the front and side of the building boarded with plywood. Artwork by WRDSMTH on the storefront makes light of the situation with the words, “for the record, Jones is not a drive-thru”.
According to a bulletin on the Jones website, the restaurant is currently working with The City of West Hollywood to reopen.
There is also a gofundme page in support of the staff. The $11,500 donated by Employees Only has recently bumped the funds raised to $20,925, as of the posting of this piece.
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