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Community rallies behind Pier 19 restaurant crew after devastating fire on South Padre Island

2 years 1 month 1 week ago Monday, March 07 2022 Mar 7, 2022 March 07, 2022 7:54 PM March 07, 2022 in News - Local

Support has been flowing in for a beloved restaurant on South Padre Island that went up in flames nearly two weeks ago. 

Scott Friedman, the owner of Pier 19, says he appreciates the community coming together to help out after a fire, especially when it comes to taking care of their more than 60 employees. 

"It was a very big business, and it was very well-liked by the staff, by the community, the tourists," Friedman said. "We hope to be able to provide that again in the future."

RELATED: 'A total loss:' Overnight fire destroys Pier 19 restaurant on South Padre Island

Former Pier 19 bartender Ed Puente says working at the SPI restaurant was more than just a job for him and his coworkers, 

"We all worked as a team to build Pier 19 to what it was, but afterwards, everybody is reaching out to each other and kind of checking in," he said. "I've gotten multiple texts and phone calls, 'how you doing?' or 'have you found some employment yet?'"

While donations from the community are coming in, helping the staff get back on their feet, Friedman says many people are looking for jobs. 

"Staff was [an] important [part] of the operation. They made everything possible. It's tragic that they are at a loss too. Everyone is. No one wins in this," he said. "We're trying to provide as many jobs as we can. It's very difficult to place everyone, but unfortunately, not everyone can fit in. Due to size and instant amount of people that are looking for jobs."

Officials say the cause of the fire that destroyed the restaurant on Feb. 23 remains under investigation. 

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