From Feb. 18 through Feb. 23, Petit & Keet in Little Rock will donate 20 percent of its proceeds to a fund that will directly benefit staff members at Red Bar, a restaurant that burned down last week in Grayton Beach, Florida.
“The place burned to the ground. It hurts tremendously,” said Louis Petit, a co-owner of Red Bar.
Early Wednesday morning, flames consumed the establishment that has been considered a staple since it opened in Grayton Beach, Florida nearly 25 years ago.
“Also, more importantly, we have 16 employees that work for us that are very dear to us,” said Petit. “They’re like a family because, without our employees, we are nobody of course.”
Petit said, some of those employees have been working at Red Bar for decades and have no other source of income.
“Rent, mortgages and the cars, you know, we cannot stop and that is what we are concerned about,” said Petit.
Jim Keet has been a life-long friend of Petit.
“They’re just part of our family. The Petit and Keet family are interwoven,” said Keet.
Together, they opened a restaurant here in Little Rock, and now the Petit & Keet establishment is stepping up to help those employees affected by the fire in Florida.
“We came up with the idea that we’ll just go ahead and donate 20% percent of our total sales for the entire week to help those displaced down at the Red Bar,” said Keet.
Keet said, even from hundreds of miles away, all his staff is on board with the project.
“We hope to raise many thousands of dollars this week for those employees,” said Keet.
Keet also said he and his staff will act as a support system, every step of the way.
“We know the Red Bar will come back bigger and better than ever, rise like the Phoenix as they say, but for right now we just want to help the employees every way we can,” said Keet.
Petit said that those good wishes are coming along way in a time of need.
“They feel our pain, you know when you lose everything you work for, besides the monetary thing, it’s also your life, that’s what you do every day,” said Keet. “That’s why you get up and you have a reason to put your hat somewhere and say, this is my little world.”
Petit said he and other co-owners hope to start the reconstruction process as soon as possible. They’re hoping to have Red Bar back up and running in as little as six months.
Petit & Keet opens for dinner at 5 p.m. every night of the week, except for Sundays.
For directions, or more information, you can visit the restaurant’s webpage.