MONTVILLE, NJ – It may be shut down from letting diners inside, but Rails Steakhouse has definitely been busy.

Unfortunately, the decrease in demand forced Rails administration – as with many small businesses – to lay off 75 employees. But that has not stopped Mike Mulligan, Director of Rails Steakhouse from doing something positive for his employees and the community. Each Sunday, Rails has been offering, free of charge, a complete Sunday dinner to employees, and 50 three-course dinners to neighborhood residents in need of a helping hand.

“We wanted to give back and help any way we could,” Mulligan said. “Montville and the surrounding communities have been very supportive of us for more than five years."

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Jaime Longo, Director of Care at The Chapel in Lincoln Park coordinates the meal distribution program; then Rails Executive Chef Francis X. Faliviene and his team prepare the meals.

Volunteers from “Chapel Care Delivers” pick up meals which change weekly, such as roasted chicken, yukon gold potatoes, garlic green beans and homemade butter cakes for dessert. The volunteers deliver to those with an impaired immune system or who are over 60 and need to stay within the safety of their home. The restaurant also supported a family whose child is in the hospital, along with frontline workers. Since the mandated closure, Rails has donated more than 300 Sunday dinners and continues to do so.

Recently, Vito Bubbico of AME Inc. in Fairfield contacted Mulligan. The company is a contractor at Robert Wood Johnson – Barnabas – Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, and Bubbico and his boss, Amit Patel, wanted to do something nice for workers there. On May 15, Rails will be taking over the kitchen at the hospital and serving barbeque for all employees there in a luncheon co-sponsored by Rails and AME, Mulligan said.

“Mike wanted to do something big,” Bubbico said. “The people there are working so hard, and we at AME wanted to show appreciation for their work.”

“We wanted to thank all the doctors, nurses, security officers – all the staff,” Patel said.”They’re trying to get through this tough time, so we wanted them to have a nice barbeque lunch.”

Bubbico said that basketball great Shaquille O’Neal is “Newark born and raised,” and he will be sending over a video message for the employees to view, thanking them for their difficult work.

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