Chase Sapphire bank has awarded the Montclair Diner with a grant of $50,000. The restaurant was nominated by a longtime customer who recognized just how much the diner had given back to families and charities during the pandemic.
Montclair Diner is owned by Eliot Mosby, a former airline executive who bought the restaurant from long time owner Gus Makris. Almost immediately after purchasing the restaurant, the pandemic hit, leaving Mosby in a precarious situation.
As many restaurants grappled with the unpredictability that came with the initial shut down, Montclair Diner took a more unique approach. Instead of shutting down completely like many other businesses had to do, he adjusted hours and chose not to lay off any staff. The diner continued to serve food through pick up and drop off orders.
Mosby has stated that he felt a deep need to help the community as much as he could. He even adjusted the menu to become “family-style” so that without spending more money on individual meals, a person could feed 4 or 5 people with just one. The menu remains that way to this day.
On top of that, the restaurant was able to help raise $10,000 to feed frontline workers who worked long and exhausting hours and didn’t have time to cook. The restaurant sometimes served up to 100 people at a time in places like University Hospital in Newark, East Orange Hospital, St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, Mountainside hospital in Montclair. The restaurant also provided free meals to firefighters, police officers, and EMTs.
The restaurant did not stop there however. With a mission to provide help to the entire community, Montclair Diner also worked with community groups to provide food for families that had been financially affected by the pandemic. According to records, they were able to help feed 1,500 families.
The news of the grant came as a complete surprise to restaurant owner Mosby. He plans on using the money to give every single one of his workers a holiday bonus. The diner will also be investing in new equipment and some minor renovations.
The diner continues to stay involved in the community by providing food for families in need and employing students to help give them transferable job experience. Mosby has stated that even though he is not from Montclair originally, he feels a deep connection to the community and will continue to foster that relationship as much as he can.