Devastated is an understatement.
Good, bad, or ugly, social media means that you've access to a constant stream of news (provided you're plugged in, which of course you are because it's 2015), but it doesn't mean you're prepared for it. Last night, when Mrs. Gastro burst into tears next to me on the couch, neither of us were ready for the news of Bernard Ray's passing, especially at the hand of violence. If you knew him, you'll know that this is a terrible irony. If you didn't, it's a shame you'll never get to experience his disarming smile, his open arms, and the way he made you feel so goddamn welcome anytime you sat down for a meal at Earth Bread + Brewery.
Although we didn't know him outside of the restaurant, he leaves a lasting impression with me and my family and a giant hole in our collective hearts.
This Thursday, January 8, Earth Bread + Brewery will be donating all proceeds from guest checks to his three young boys, daughter, and grandchild. Additional contributions are also welcome and can be given to servers or bartenders. Alternatively, if you can't make it, donations can be sent into the restaurant.
It's going to be difficult to walk through those doors Thursday, but I strongly urge you to do so. My deepest condolences to Bernard's family and to the Earth Bread + Brewery staff. And to Bernard, rest in peace my friend. Your smile will never be forgotten.