‘Make someone’s day a little better’: Buck’s Whiskey and Burger Bar in Worcester eclipses 3,000 donated meals during COVID pandemic
Last April, Buck’s Whiskey and Burger Bar celebrated its two-year anniversary by delivering 500 gifts.
Worcester’s Canal Quarter Restaurant created 500 meals for first responders working at the DCU Center COVID field hospital, UMass Memorial Medical Center, UMass Medical School and Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital.
Ten months later, with the pandemic still crippling the restaurant industry, Buck’s has not backed down in its efforts to give back. As of February, the restaurant has delivered more than 3,100 meals.
“I felt it was absolutely necessary to help the community that is helping you,” Buck owner Nick Panarelli said. “I have always been very community oriented. If you don’t support them, they won’t support you.
Following the initial donation of 500 meals to first responders, Panarelli expected it to stop there. But as a result of the donation, he heard from other companies who wanted to help him pay it back.
His food distributor offered to cover some food. Clients donated money for meals and offered places where meals could help people from rehabilitation centers to senior centers.
“It was amazing how much support [we received], like everyone wanted to help everyone, ”said Panarelli.
Tito’s Craft Vodka recently helped Buck’s eclipse 3,000 donated meals.
“I was very impressed with how everything turned out, being able to help the community,” said Panarelli. “Now I see a lot of new customers coming in because they have eaten or read about it. It’s gratifying to see everything coming back. “
Panarelli gave credit to its staff for preparing the meals. Chef Steve Sinkis was responsible for creating the daily meal volume as well as producing the donated meals.
“My staff were amazing,” said Panarelli. “I paid them for all their hard work, but them and my chef are absolutely amazing with anything I throw at them.
As the pandemic continues, just as Buck didn’t stop at 500 meals 500 years ago, Panarelli didn’t stop at 3000,
The restaurant now has over 3,100 donated meals.
“Something as simple as a free dinner, a random night. It’s not a lot when you think about it, ”said Panarelli. “But you can make someone’s day a little better.”