With Vivace Closed Temporarily, Employees Volunteer to Serve Others

By Brent Woodcox

My wife and I love Vivace in North Hills. It's one of our favorite restaurants in Midtown. If you go there, get a charcuterie plate and ask the sommelier to recommend a bottle of wine. You will not regret it. We have missed the restaurant over the last few weeks after a flood forced them to temporarily close. After heading this story, we have yet another reason to go back soon.

On one Sunday afternoon in early January, between brunch and dinner, Vivace appeared to be taking on water. A pipe had burst somewhere above the North Hills Italian restaurant, and the water would not stop coming. It seeped into the walls, into sections of the floor.

It was all employees could do to squeegee the water in the kitchen.

Vivace is scheduled to reopen for dinner Wednesday night after three and a half weeks of rebuilding, said owner Kevin Jennings of Urban Food Group. ...

While Vivace was closed, around a dozen employees volunteered at A Place at the Table, a non-profit restaurant on West Hargett Street that opened earlier this month. The restaurant, which serves breakfast and lunch, allows diners to pay what they can afford, pay it forward or volunteer. Jennings said he was impressed.

“That was all them, I didn’t have anything to do with that,” Jennings said of his employees’ efforts.

“I think a lot of us would see a three-week paid vacation and head off to the beach or somewhere,” he said. “But a good number of our staff members went down there and helped out. It’s really a fantastic thing.”

The help came at a good time, said Maggie Kane, executive director of A Place at the Table. She said the new restaurant has been slammed since opening. Kane said employees from so.ca and Buku restaurants, whose owner Sean Degnan is the board chairman for A Place at the Table, often worked in the kitchen. But Vivace workers helped give them a break. ...
— Drew Jackson - N&O

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Brent Woodcox