John Minadakis, co owner of Jimmy’s Famous Seafood, in Baltimore MD was tired of watching great restaurants around his fail during the quarantine. Places like Pickles Pub across the street from Camden Yards, where the Orioles play. For over 30 years Pickles is packed before and after every home game with fans attending the games. With no fans allowed in last year it's on the brink of foreclosure
John says it's much more expensive to open or reopen a restaurant then to just keep it afloat. "We believe once they remove the restrictions people are going to come pouring back in to downtown and want these places here. These are the spots that established reputations and navigated their way through that first couple of years which gets so many of us."
The fundraiser kicked off on January 18th with a goal of bringing in $100-thousand. But in just three days, it had raised twice that amount. Now it’s known as “Famous Fund” and big names like Baltimore Ravens quarterback Marlon Humphrey have donated, it’s raised nearly half a million dollars.
Restaurants can apply and if they’re chosen, the fund gives as much as $15-thousand to help keep them in business. In just over a month, the fund has helped over 30 restaurants and bars in Baltimore. Minadakis says "I guess I could have just sat back and said, 'You know, I'll just wait for all my competitors to go out of business … (and) when things get back to normal, I'll be the only one left. But, you know, we had a moral obligation at the end of the day, and we're all in this together.