O’HARA TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) — It’s safe to say Bob’s Garage Restaurant and Lounge is ready for Christmas.
“You can ask anybody about Bob’s Garage and they’re turn around and say that’s the place with the decorations and then lights,” Bob’s Garage Restaurant and Lounge Owner Robert Paganico said.READ MORE: 'The Neighborhood Jewel': Community Fights To Save St. Philip School In Crafton From Closing
For 50 years the O’Hara Township restaurant has made its big money this time of year. But the new COVID 19 restrictions are making it much harder. Paganico estimates he’ll lose about $60,000.
“It’s just been a horrible, horrible year. Business-wise,” Paganico said.
It’s also hurting their ability to help the community. For almost five decades, they’ve collected money to buy toys for underprivileged children. Then on Christmas Eve, Paganico’s family and customers would play Santa.
“I’ve had guest bartenders here. My family. My customers. It was never me. My customers did all this,” he said.READ MORE: Pa. Sen. Bob Casey Sponsors Bill To Protect Children From Falling Furniture
This year donations are down, and there are not as many volunteers.
“This year has been nothing like nothing I’ve seen in my entire life. There’s so many people out there that need things but we don’t have the manpower to do it,” Paganico said inside his establishment.
Paganico was able to get a group to donate some toys. They will be given to children in low-income housing but there will be no going door to door to spread Christmas cheer. The toys will simply be dropped off and the property will distribute them.
“That’s what’s missing. They don’t get to see that little child,” he said.
In a year that has taken so much, 2020 continues to take more. With loved ones around him, Paganico hopes brighter days are ahead.MORE NEWS: Giant Eagle, Pittsburgh Steelers Hosting COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic At Heinz Field
“We’ll get through it as long as I’ve got my family,” he said while holding back tears.