BALTIMORE — Jimmy's Famous Seafood has started a GoFundMe to help restaurants struggling with the impact of COVID-19 restrictions.
In four days Jimmy's President, John Minadakis, raised over $200,000 and has now increased the goal to $350,000.
“I’m truly blessed by the kindness of so many people to assist us with this fund,” said Minadakis. “Every dollar that we raise will be injected into a small restaurant in Baltimore City in order to increase their chances of survival as the restrictions continue.”
Baltimore restaurants wishing to apply for money from the fund can do that here. Minadakis has created a board to review applicants and distribute funding to selected recipients.
Minadakis says he was inspired by Barstool Sports recent fundraising effort to save struggling businesses.
In particular he says Baltimore City restaurants are dying an inevitable death due to the mayor's restrictions, highlighting lost income over the holidays and the Ravens playoff run.
Minadakis said he worries about thousands of workers who have lost their jobs as result, and questions if many of the city's restaurants will survive and ever fully reopen.
He added that many diners are choosing to go outside of the city to eat.
Athletes such as former Ravens players O.J. Brigance and Jacoby Jones, former Oriole Adam Jones, WWE superstars Roman Reigns and Big E, and Benj Gershman of the band OAR have all made calls breaking the good news to those restaurants selected thus far.
Watch their reactions below.
The #FamousFund Call to Serenity Wine Bar. @BriganceBrigade founders @OJBrigance & Chanda delivered the good news, and added a generous donation!— Jimmy’s Famous Seafood (@JimmysSeafood) February 19, 2021
We had a surprise in store for Chanda, too! Please purchase her book - https://t.co/4eB2y4uCOS!
Donate - https://t.co/exKKSimXP3! pic.twitter.com/o6lJ6PrS1f
The #FamousFund call to Michael’s Steak & Lobster House, delivered by WWE Champion @WWERomanReigns. Michael’s has been serving Baltimore for over 30 years!— Jimmy’s Famous Seafood (@JimmysSeafood) February 1, 2021
❤️ Every dollar counts. We are saving our beautiful city’s restaurants together! Please donate - https://t.co/5jv0dVzA1p! pic.twitter.com/jngLcJXYIc
The call to @SimplyMaries, coming from the amazing @SimplyAJ10 - all the way from Japan! This beautiful soul received 10K from The #FamousFund - which Adam matched - gifting her a goal of $20,000! 🧡— Jimmy’s Famous Seafood (@JimmysSeafood) January 29, 2021
🙏 Every single dollar counts! We are changing lives! https://t.co/5jv0dVzA1p pic.twitter.com/EJnMmL9Q62
🦪 Urban Oyster gets the call for The #FamousFund! This hard-working business is down 84%. Huge thanks to WWE Intercontinental Champ (and all-around amazing human) @WWEBigE for breaking the good news!— Jimmy’s Famous Seafood (@JimmysSeafood) January 28, 2021
💜 Every dollar counts! Please donate today! https://t.co/5jv0dVzA1p pic.twitter.com/hlH2xt1csG
The next business we are helping is Shotti’s Point Charm City. Lisa & Mike have been proudly serving Baltimore City for nearly a decade! @ofarevolution’s Benj Gershman made the call!— Jimmy’s Famous Seafood (@JimmysSeafood) January 26, 2021
Every dollar counts! Please donate to The #FamousFund & save our city!https://t.co/5jv0dVzA1p pic.twitter.com/xgPueI2PqW
The fundraiser shattered the $60,000 mark set by Marcus Lemonis, host of CNBC's The Profit, who tweeted that he would add $20,000 if that number was met by a certain deadline. Lemonis also placed a $20,000 order with Colin’s Seafood and Grill that will go towards feeding needy families.