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Poway server gets $1,000 tip after restaurant reopens

Posted at 5:36 PM, Dec 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-05 21:08:05-05

POWAY, Calif., (KGTV) — Six days after the City of Poway issued a Boil Water Order, some restaurants are reopening, after getting special permits from the Health Department.

On her first day back to work, a server at Mainstream Bar & Grill got the surprise of a lifetime when she received a $1,000 tip from a regular customer.

It's been a while since hungry customers walked into the Mainstream Bar & Grill. Six days after receiving Poway's food facility closure notice, Mainstream is one of a few restaurants that are reopened.

Mandated by the Health Department, they now have a modified eight-item menu with ingredients not prepared on-site, a boiled water hand-washing station, and disposable cups and utensils.

RELATED: Poway could face fines as water boil advisory continues

"We submitted a payroll today," restaurant manager Brian Harvey said. "Employees, we want them to get back to work as quickly as possible. Especially this time of year."

It's a time when a lack of cash could be the difference between holiday cheer and holiday drear.

"You do really want to budget," server Sarah Klein said. "You really want to figure out what you want to do for the holiday or how you are going to spend your money, so that was scary."

Klein, a six-year veteran server, was out of a job for five days. But Thursday morning, she was back on her feet. She greeted and served her regulars without a hitch. She even chatted with one of them about how the water outage was affecting her family.

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Next thing she knew, she was given what he called a "donation."

"He came back with an envelope and $1000 cash was inside for me!" Klein said.

At first, she did not want to accept it. But she said the donor insisted that she take it.

"Poway is like a family. And they come together in times of need, and it's definitely one of those times," Harvey said.

RELATED: Poway small business owners worry as boil water advisory continues

Klein says she has no idea how she will spend the money but hopes to pay it forward somehow.

"Gosh, I don't know. You know, just spend it on my son's birthday, it's this month. And the holidays. So now there is so much more we can do. So I'm just really proud to be in Poway," Klein said.

Klein said the donor is also a Poway resident, going through the same water crisis, which is why this gift is even more precious.

The City of Poway said they are working to restore the water by Friday.