By Sarah Wright
Vehicles stretched along SR 13 and Bowser Road well past Burger King Wednesday, April 1, to receive free meals at Chubbies Pub-N-Grub. While serving time began at 4 p.m., 10 vehicles had already lined up by 3 p.m.
“Sleepy Owl did something similar,” Angie Racolta, real estate agent and broker with The RGroup, said, noting from that an idea formed to work with fellow brokers and another restaurant to put on another free meal event. “I talked to all three (brokers) and they didn’t even bat an eye — they were all on board.”
A partnership formed between The RGroup, RE/MAX Partners, Kay Young/Todd Realty and Chubbies.
Upon receiving the call, Jeremy Yoder, owner of Chubbies, said, “I was excited to help out, to help the community and do something positive.”
As soon as he was off the phone, he called suppliers to get the chicken halves, barbecue potatoes and coleslaw necessary to feed 100 people.
That number was reached at 4:10 p.m., and a decision was made to add more meals to reach more of the people who had been waiting. After an additional 30 chicken halves had been served, a switch to more than 30 pulled pork sandwiches occurred.
Partway through, two lines had to be formed in Chubbies’ parking lot to clear vehicles from SR 13, with Syracuse police officers mitigating traffic congestion in the area. By 4:24 p.m., all supplies had been exhausted and people had to be turned away.
The staff of Chubbies served the meals as individuals waited in their vehicles, keeping the line moving quickly until a wait set in for the additional chicken and pulled pork.
One server, Becky Ellis, stated, “I got my steps in today!”
The event highlighted the Syracuse Strong movement. Not only did four businesses come together, local residents did, too. Individuals dropped off money in support of the event both before and during it. When one vehicle died in the midst of the event, two men jump-started it.
Upon the event’s conclusion, Racolta said, “It’s shown there is a need.”
Kay Young agreed and added, “We would like to challenge other businesses and service organizations to step up and help.”