A lot of us are still in shock over the arrest last week of a suspect in the fire that has temporarily closed Livingstone’s Restaurant in the Tower District. Last month, fans of the local watering hole banded together to raise over $11,600 to help out employees whose jobs were put on hold while the restaurant rebuilds. Livingstone’s neighbor, Strummer’s, is also finding ways to help out the restaurant’s employees and its customers.
Brandon Duenas, General Manager of Strummer’s—a combination concert hall, restaurant, bar, and club—says that after the fire, he saw a way to assist some members of the displaced Livingstone’s staff. “The staff there have always treated myself and Strummer’s kindly,” he says. “I saw an opportunity to extend some hours to them, as limited as they may be, to help get them through the initial holiday season.”
Duenas was able to hire three members of the bartending staff, as well as one security team member. These employees will work part-time at Strummer’s until Livingstone’s is able to reopen.
Strummer’s has also extended its hours to accommodate customers who are used to Livingstone’s longer hours. Although the bar is normally closed Mondays, since the fire, it has opened from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. every Monday. Sunday hours have also been extended to 2 a.m. instead of the usual midnight closing.
Duenas says Strummer’s is doing what it can to help pick up the slack. “We opened on Christmas day, which normally we would be closed, and had two of their bartenders, along with myself, open. Stone’s is a staple for Christmas day nightcaps and I wanted to keep that thread going, if possible. It proved to be successful all around for both the staff of Stone’s and the Tower community.”
A meeting to plan a proposed benefit show for Livingstone’s at Strummer’s will take place tonight. In the meantime, soccer fans should take special note that the bar is open for every Liverpool and Arsenal match, whether that’s at 4 a.m. or midnight, as well as every U.S.A. men’s match. More information about match meet-ups can be found on the 559FC Fresno Football Supporters Facebook page.