Community rallies to help Pungo restaurant damaged by flooding


PUNGO, Va. (WAVY) — The owners of Blue Pete’s Restaurant, Nicholas and Aristotle Cleanthes, say all of the rainwater this past week has brought their business to a screeching halt. 

“At this point we don’t know what to do, what the solution is, the only thing we can do is rebuild it,” said Aristotle.

While the waters are slowly deteriorating the building, they say their biggest concern is the 55 employees that are going without pay until they reopen. 

“At this point it’s way bigger than us,” he explained.

Pungo local, Patti Newton, says the two brothers are known throughout the community, not only for their good food but for their big hearts. 

Newton says she’ll never forget the act of kindness she witnessed herself.

She says one time when she was in Blue Pete’s for dinner when an elderly man came in and told one of the owners he didn’t have a place to stay or a job. 

“He offered the guy a job on the spot and I’ve just never seen anything like that,” Newton said as she teared up.

She says when she saw the flood damage around their business she knew she had to step in to help, like they had for so many others. 

That’s when she started a Facebook fundraiser for them, and it’s taken off like wildfire.

“I thought we would be lucky to raise $2,000 and we had that in like an hour and a half,” she added.

 First Atlantic Restoration also stepped in to help.

A team member showed up unexpectedly Thursday morning to help with the clean up, free of charge.

“Giving back is our nature and the fact that people want to help us, it humbles us,” said Nicholas.

The owners say $5,000 of what’s raised will be distributed to their employees and the amount left will go towards raising and rebuilding the restaurant. 

If you’re interested in donating, click here. 

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