Baton Rouge residents turned out in droves Monday to support a fundraising campaign at local restaurants and bars for law enforcement officers that were killed and wounded in a devastating ambush two weekends ago.
More than 140 eating and drinking establishments participated in #25onthe25th, pledging a quarter of their sales to funds that help the families of police officers killed and wounded in the line of duty.
“It’s amazing how many people came out,” said Metro Councilman John Delgado, who helped organize the campaign. “Monday is typically slow.”
Delgado said six bars and restaurants that he knows of raised more than $30,000. That includes two of his downtown bars. “I’m really proud of the people who were participating in this worthy cause.”
The proceeds from #25onthe25th are still being tallied, and some restaurant and bars that are closed on Mondays are holding events later this week.
Participating restaurants reported big crowds on Monday that were more in line with Valentine’s Day or Cinco de Mayo instead of a day in late July.
Customers were waiting up to two hours for a table at Superior Grill. Doe’s Eat Place was still seating diners at 8:30 p.m.
Ian Vaughn, the co-owner of Lava Cantina, said the rock n' roll-themed Mexican restaurant in Perkins Rowe did about three times as much business as the typical Monday evening. "It definitely took us by surprise on how successful it was," Vaughn said. About $2,000 was raised between Lava Cantina and Vaughn's other Perkins Rowe business, Rock N’ Pops, which sells gourmet frozen treats.
Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar, the popular sports bar chain that was one of the first restaurants to sign up for #25onthe25th, estimates it raised more than $10,000 at its three restaurants and Happy's Irish Pub, said Ladd Biro, a spokesman for the restaurant. That's double what Walk-On's co-founder Brandon Landry said he hoped to contribute.
Newk's Eatery raised $3,324 for the campaign at its two Baton Rouge locations, said spokeswoman Callie Smith.
More than 100 popular local restaurants and bars are pledging to donate a quarter of their p…
Contributions to #25onthe25th are being channeled toward the Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s East Baton Rouge First Responders Fund and the Capital One Fallen Heroes Fund.
Proceeds from the event will go to the families of Baton Rouge Police officers Matthew Gerald and Montrell Jackson and East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Garafola, who were killed in the July 17 shooting. Deputy Nicholas Tullier, who remains in critical condition after the shooting, also will benefit from the First Responders Fund, along with Deputy Bruce Simmons, who was released from the hospital last week, and a police officer who was wounded and released.