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The restaurant and bar industry is a big part of the Wilton Manors economy and 13 businesses were able to keep their doors open during the COVID-19 pandemic with help from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

This is one of SFGN’s most-read news stories of 2021.

Congress specified eligible uses for the funds to include rent and payroll. The $28.6 billion dollar fund, administered by the Small Business Administration, closed July 2, 2021. More than 100,000 restaurants received funding from the program which was part of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act.

In light of the ongoing pandemic there have been calls to replenish the fund.

“The best way to support Main Street is to keep our small businesses afloat,” tweeted Mondaire Jones (D-NY).

Jones, a gay Black man, who represents New York’s 17th District, joined 165 of his House colleagues in urging Biden to replenish the RRF.

“Our businesses need help,” he wrote.

Georgie’s Alibi Monkey Bar, the longtime Wilton Drive gay bar, got the biggest break from the federal government, receiving $2.1 million.

No other business reached the million-dollar mark. The next highest was Manor Lanes Bowling, 1517 NE 26th Street. The bowling alley and sports pub, which is veteran-owned, was awarded $502,827.

Ethos Greek Bistro was awarded $389,433 followed by another Wilton Drive eatery, Shawn and Nick’s Courtyard Cafe, $265,804.

Gym Bar placed fifth on the RRF list. The Wilton Drive gay sports bar was awarded $155,567. Two businesses located in the Gables Wilton Park were awarded grants: Matty’s, a veteran-owned video bar, $136,493 and Infinity Lounge, an upscale cocktail lounge, $117,340.

The rest of the RRF awardees are as follows: Papa Duke’s Deli, $83,280, Menchie’s, $75,332, Subway, $43,981, Sozo Sushi Bar, $43,088, Wilton Creamery, $33,909 and Ming Kong Chinese Restaurant, $16,859.

Five of the 13 businesses were designated social and economically disadvantaged. They are Infinity Lounge, Papa Duke's Deli, Sozo Sushi Bar, Ming Kong Chinese Restaurant and Matty’s. Two of the 13 ㅡ Subway and Menchie’s ㅡ are women-owned businesses.

Subway and Ming Kong are located on North Andrews Avenue and are the only two on the list located in Congressional District 20. The majority of awardees are located in Congressional District 22, which is represented by Congressman Ted Deutch (D-Boca Raton).

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Alibi Tops List of Wilton Manors' Restaurant Fund Grantees