Members of downtown hospitality community raise money for 1102 employees

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- Employees of 1102 Bar & Grill in downtown Augusta have been out of work since the building’s back bar was damaged in a fire two weeks ago, but other local business members have been working to help those employees.

Investigators believe an arsonist is responsible for the damage to 1102 Bar and Grill— and two weeks with the doors closed at the downtown spot means two weeks without a job for its dozens of employees.

“We have the door guys, security, you know kitchen, front of the house bartenders, managers,” said Sae Shin, who is a co-owner, 1102 Bar & Grill.

The loss has been felt thoughout the downtown community.

“We have friends that work there.” said Richard Ertz, who manages The Loft. “We have family that works there.”

Ertz and others in the hospitality industry are doing something about it.

Several restaurants have given 1102 employees work.

Others have donated some of their proceeds to those out of their jobs.

“We’re very grateful a lot of places have donated,” Shin said.

So far, they’ve raised about $4,500.

For St. Patrick’s Day, the owners of 1102 and the Loft pitched in to have t-shirts made. They sold them for $15 each Friday and are donating all of the proceeds to 1102 employees.

Ertz says when something like this happens downtown, the whole community is affected.

“All of downtown is family,” he said.

He says he’d hope other would do the same if something happened to his bar, and at the end of the day, a rising tide raises all ships.

“If it helps downtown, it’s good for us,” he said. “And it’s good for them; It’s good for everybody.”

Shin says he’s hoping it will reopen next week.

Ertz says they probably won’t know the total value raised by the t-shirts until Saturday, but they’ve sold quite a few.

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