In order to give back to those who are helping fight the coronavirus pandemic head on, the Recovery Room Bar and Grill, which is just a stone’s throw away from NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, decided to give back and feed the numerous doctors and nurses who work grueling hours day in and day out.
“After the governor directed that our restaurant, like so many others, could not have table seating and could only offer take out and delivery food, we had to make a decision,” Regis Gallet, who owns the Recovery Room Bar and Grill along with his wife Cristi, said. “Do we stay open or do we close and wait this out? There were many reasons why we thought we should close, but there was one thing that stood out in our minds. If everyone closes, then how will people get meals? Of course people at home can cook, but our business has long dealt with the wonderful staff at Winthrop Hospital over the years. Knowing the hours they would be keeping and the limited availability for meals, coupled with the fact that we are located so close to them it was a no-brainer. We had to stay open and help them out. Our first reason for staying open was not for donations. It was simply to be there for them and anyone else if they needed us. One day, we decided to donate food to the hospital as a thank you for everything they are doing for us.”
As the state shutdown continues at least until May 15, Gallet said that something pretty amazing happened within the community. People started donating money to the Recovery Room Bar and Grill for meals that can go to the staff at NYU Winthrop Hospital.
“We started getting calls and visits from incredible people generously donating money for us to prepare meals for the hospital staff,” Gallet said, who is also a 26-year member of the Mineola Auxiliary Police Department. “Our phone is constantly ringing with someone calling saying that they want to donate money for meals. It is an incredibly heart-warming experience. And if it is possible to take a warm memory from a time that is so difficult as this one, then this was the way for it to happen.”
Even the Mineola Chamber of Commerce and Mineola Junior Fire Department is helping the Gallets out in their donation efforts.
“The chamber and the Recovery Room Bar have worked on a few projects together and to work together in these times was a natural transition,” Gallet said. “As for the Mineola Junior Fire Department, Gary Mazur, the head advisor and former chief, has been a friend of mine for many years. One day, Gary contacted me and told me that the Mineola Junior Fire Department wanted to donate to the Recovery Room to make meals for the hospital. Needless to say we were extremely moved and honored to do this with them.”
The PBA also donated $1,000 to the Recovery Room, which Gallet said he’s also grateful for.
“This is a terrible difficult time for so many,” Gallet said. “So much sadness, so many good people lost, so many businesses in trouble. We just felt that we had to do our part. Our bar has been in this great village for so many years and we felt that to close at one of the darkest hours would be to let people down. So we will fight through this. We have to.”