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Bar Owner Strips $3,700 From Walls, Gives It To Employees During Shutdown

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Restaurants and bars across the country have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19 related shutdowns. And while many establishments are relying solely on takeout and delivery to stay afloat, Georgia beach spot The Sand Bar has taken a more creative approach to paying its unemployed staffers during the economic stall

Jennifer Knox, owner of the Tybee Island bar, pulled down thousands of dollar bills that had been stapled to the walls throughout the years and used the makeshift decor as a way to keep the paychecks coming for her employees. 

"The Sand Bar is going to have a fresh new look, while giving back at the same time! We are taking down the dollar bills!! And donating all the money to our bartenders and musicians that need it!" Knox wrote on Facebook. "Figure, we got money (on the walls), and we got time!!” she added. “So excited for this Labor of Love. And a good spring cleaning!!"

Along with five volunteers, Knox personally collected the bills, which according to a report from CNN, ultimately totaled $3,714. With the addition of Venmo donations, The Sand Bar was able to supply its staff with $4,104 -- or $600 each for two musicians and four bartenders. 

Knox bought The Sand Bar six years ago, but the tradition was born much earlier. Patrons of the beach town hotspot have been stapling dollar bills to the ceilings and walls for the past 15 years. 

"We looked around and we were like ‘we have money on the walls and time on our hands’, and we just felt this sense of urgency to get these dollars down and into the hands of those who need it," Knox told a local news outlet.

"To see something so amazing get even more amazing, it was so overwhelming and so emotional," Knox said. "Times like this, you’re going to see the best in people right now, and that’s what’s going to get us through this time I think."

h/tFood & Wine

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.