Safety Harbor community mourns loss of well-known restaurant owner - ABC Action News Tampa Bay

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Safety Harbor community mourns loss of well-known restaurant owner – ABC Action News Tampa Bay

SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. (WFTS) — The businesses in Safety Harbor are like family. Right now, that family-like relationship is coming in handy. Business owners are leaning on one another as they mourn the loss of Whistle Stop Grill and Bar owner Louis Kinney.

Just two weeks ago, ABC Action News spoke to Kinney. He, along with others in the community, were hard at work preparing for the Rock and Soul Charity Concert.

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That was one of the last times Dave Lagree, owner of Tiki Tavern, got the chance to see Kinney.

On Christmas Eve, the 42-year-old passed away. He left behind a wife and two children.

“I stopped in myself and supported the event and saw him that night as did everybody else. And that’s the shocker of all this. Just everybody saw him recently,” Lagree recalled.

Just weeks later, they’re organizing fundraisers they never imagined they would have to.

“The whole town is on its knees. The minute we all heard the news that we lost him, there was a collective bawling of every single person that is in this town. He’s that special,” Lagree said.

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Tom Bassano

More than a dozen restaurants have vowed to help the Kinney and Whistle Stop family in some way, either by donating proceeds from their shops or just helping his family.

“There’s a food train going on that has every single merchant, every restaurant in town, picking a day of the month to put together a meal for the family,” Lagree explained. “And I don’t know how long that will roll over. But we’re certainly willing to roll it over as long as we have to here at the Tiki Tavern.”

Lagree said this willingness to help is just what the community does.

“Even though it’s sandwiched between Tampa and Clearwater, it’s like its own entity and nothing surprises me with how everybody comes together here,” he said.”This isn’t just anybody in town that we’re coming together for.”

There’s a GoFundMe available to help the Kinney family. We’ll also update this story with more fundraising opportunities as they become available.


via “restaurants” – Google News

December 26, 2022 at 03:16PM

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