1051 Bistro Italian Seafood Grill & Sushi Bar

Nomination from Alice Ford

It is hard to find a place that is willing to give while living in the Covid world. Nothing is certain for anyone and it’s good to know that there are people out there who care. Bistro 1051 cares. They have given so much to their community during this time I don’t understand how they stay open.

They are generous and beyond humble. From feeding frontline workers to feeing those in need they step up every chance they get.  I’ve ordered from them during the pandemic for Christmas Eve, they took the pressure off of me for my Covid family gathering.  They limited the persons picking up and brought out my order.  The portions were huge and delicious it was like my Nonna cooked dinner!

When things got better I went out to dinner with the family under the tent. Again they sacrificed space for safety and gave more than 6ft for social distancing.  They are hardworking and clean constantly.  Going out again while it still feels a little weird I have to say I feel Bistro is my safe place!

Union County Small Business Community Champion’s Story

During The 2020 Pandemic we never closed our doors kept our whole staff employed. Working 7 days a week, we never missed a beat! We helped out all the essential workers at the Hospitals, EMS, Fire Department, and Police Department. Everyone was scared and we made sure to give back to those we were keeping us safe.

Every day we delivered food to the essential workers at all hours of the day and night. We had family members set up donations for their family’s work places- Not only did I matched the donations and increased it out of pocket for each organization. We kept our doors open for the unfortunate people with no money, we gave out free meals. We offered our space for the meetings for front line workers and gathered donations of food and water.

We wanted everyone to feel safe in addition to our own daily cleaning we hired a company to disinfect (deep clean) on a weekly basis. We took our whole dining room outside in a parking lot and offered outdoor dining.  We lost all our private parties that were booked over a year in advance. We returned all the deposits if they did not reschedule-no one knew how long this was going to last and when it would be over. We struggled but we hung in there. We stayed positive and made it! Thank you for all our loyal customers and support.

Oh Brian’s On The Green

Nomination from Christina Adams

Covid wreaked havoc on the restaurants. My favorite Oh’ Brian’s instead of being consumed by the chaos confronted it head on. They reimaged their menu and geared it towards to go and take out. I took a lot of comfort in getting a pizza and a burger delivered for our family game nights; it felt almost normal.

Instead of waiting for indoor dining they put out money to create an outdoor dining space and raised the bar by including TV’s and sound systems. They never took the easy way out and I’m glad I can walk thru their doors today.

Union County Small Business Community Champion’s Story

As many small businesses were negatively impacted, if not decimated by 2020 and the Covid crisis, restaurants like ours really had the challenge of adapting to survive. Fortunately, Oh’Brian’s up until this time was able evolve and withstand with the help of some great government disaster assistance programs, local community charities, and the hard work of dedicated employees who decided to hang in through tough times and make Oh’Brian’s a stronger business then before.

March 16th 2020, marked the last day of our “old business” (no masks, no restrictions, indoor dining without capacity limits). Timing for us was really tough, as an “Irish/American” pub, March 17th is our “high holy day” and a financially rewarding one. St Paddy’s day marked the first day, the restaurant world changed. We decided that day, that we would not close our doors. We ran St Paddy’s day through phone call pickup orders, and while by no means was it a huge financial success, we realized we would need to adapt, play by new rules and do the best we can with the circumstances dealt to all of us. Immediately, we realized, customers needed to feel safe, whether it was by no contact pickup orders, safety seals on food containers, or sanitizing supplies, we needed to invest in these things to give our customers as much peace of mind as possible.

We focused on creating our own online ordering platforms for pick up and deliveries. We had always offered such services, but never was a focus of our business, so that was a challenge. We had to adjust our menus to focus on best items for take-out and delivery quality. One of our focuses shifted to the Pizza side of our business, which until 2020 had been a small part of the overall business. We saw an opportunity to grow and thrive the pizza segment of our business that continues to grow to this day. While we were restricted to take-out and delivery for many months, we were fortunate to work with some local organizations to deliver meals to senior citizens, local hospitals, and to first responders. These orders helped these groups, and also helped us keep many staff members employed.

Our community of Clark and the surrounding communities, really helped us and many restaurants and their employees get through these difficult times.