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'Rally for Restaurants' raises money for eateries while students learn from chefs and bartenders

The Lackawanna College student-run restaurant is hosting different professional chefs every week for the event "Rally for Restaurants."

SCRANTON, Pa. — It was busy inside the kitchen at 409 on Adams.

The Lackawanna College student-run restaurant is hosting different professional chefs every week for the event "Rally for Restaurants."

The event debuted with chef John Tabone from the Italian restaurant Bar Pazzo.

"Rally for Restaurants" is seen as a lifeline for some restaurants, with all of the money made from the meals going to the restaurant hosting that week.

Tabone said recent capacity restrictions have made business harder.

"We're geared on doing a lot of people, so to be trimmed down to 25-50%, it really crushes our business plan, you know? So this is a nice event. It's community-driven, and we help each other out," Tabone said.

Behind the bar was Backyard Ale House; it earned all the proceeds from drinks at the event. 

Owner Patrick Nasser said hosting the meal on a Tuesday is especially helpful.

"Days when restaurants are typically slower, so as far as resources go, it definitely makes it easier for us to staff and prepare for it and it's a great boost on a night that we can use the extra business for," Nasser said.

Customers had to make reservations online in advance through the school's website. 

The event sold out with about 50 guests.

"My first impression is just wonderful," customer Henry Augenstein from Duryea said. "We've been in the restaurant business all of our lives, so we're out here to support our friends and local businesses."

The meal was supposed to be held outside. 

Students had tents set up, but because of the possibility of rain in the forecast, many tables and chairs were brought inside.

"With the state being at 50% occupancy, and this ended up being a little bit of a lower number than we originally thought, we were able to fit everybody inside and a partially outside," 409 on Adams dining room manager Susan Markovich said.

Students were glad to be able to train with professionals and lend a helping hand.

"It's a great opportunity to be learning from chef Tabone, learning a different style of cuisine, different techniques from him," Sophomore Kevin Watson said.

The college expects restaurants to be able to make up to $2,500 from the event and bars up to $1,000.

The next "Rally for Restaurants" will be held on Tuesday with Mexican restaurant El Buen Amigo from Scranton.

RELATED: Lackawanna College’s Student-run Restaurant Opening

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