When NJ bar staff quarantined for coronavirus, neighboring barber stepped in to run business

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What a neighborly thing to do.

Every day counts when running a small business, and a New Jersey bar preemptively planned to close when an employee was exposed to COVID-19. Inspired to lend a helping hand, the owner of a nearby barbershop stepped in to keep the place running over the weekend.  

Last Friday, Wurstbar in Jersey City announced it would temporarily shut down because an employee had unfortunately been exposed to the viral disease.

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"Würstbar is a small team run by an extremely hardworking and loyal staff. Running the restaurant with only non-exposed employees isn’t an option for us at the moment," the pub explained on Facebook. For the safety of customers and crew, the bar said it would reopen when all employees had been tested and could return to work confidently.

When Andre Fersa, owner of the Virile Barber and Shop just a few doors down from Wurstbar, caught wind of the news, he generously offered to run the bar on Saturday and take advantage of the gorgeous weather for outdoor dining on the business’ behalf.

“The weather is too nice out to not let our neighbors at Wurstbar stay closed! Come on by and support this great staff,” Fersa posted online.

The barber kept busy serving up Wurstbar’s signature beers and pretzels, and the day went off without a hitch. According to the bar, the good deed made all the difference.

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“We love this community and couldn’t ask for better neighbors,” Wurstbar said on Facebook. “Let’s not forget barbershops and salons were hit just as hard as restaurants during the shutdown.”

Though many are sticking closer to home – and relaxing their grooming routines – during this time, Wurstbar urged those with the means to keep getting haircuts to look sharp for that next “Zoom call or socially distanced gathering,” to support salons and barbershops.

“Now it’s time for me to go check how many ‘shift drinks’ they took!” Wurstbar joked of their neighbor’s aid.

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Fast forward to Thursday, and the pub proudly announced that they were back open for business.

“We’re back! And we missed you Jersey City!” they wrote. “We’ve deep cleaned, sanitized and all tested NEGATIVE!!! See you soon!”

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