Roman Reigns Informs Baltimore Restaurant Owner She’s The Recipient Of A $15,000 Donation To Help Stay Open
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for AT&T
The Head Of The Table just told one Baltimore area restaurant owner some amazing news.
Jimmy’s Famous Seafood shared the following video of WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns informing Sophia Gerapetritis, owner of Michael’s Steak & Lobster in Baltimore, that she’s one of the recipients of a donation from Jimmy’s Famous Seafood’s “Famous Fund” that was created to help local restaurants impacted by COVID-19.
Reigns joked that her reaction to seeing him on the call gave away that she was already a WWE fan, and she went on to talk about the restaurant’s history. Gerapetritis explained that the restaurant was started 31 years ago by her parents, and explained how COVID-19 hit their restaurant hard, noting that they’ve had to furlough people and kept wondering if they would have to close next. Reigns then delivered the good news and told her that the restaurant would be receiving $15,000 to keep their doors open, and Gerapetritis expressed her gratitude to him.
The Famous Fund currently sits at more than $366,000 after being created only two weeks ago. Owner John Minadakis originally said he was inspired by Barstool Sports’ Barstool Fund and wanted to find a way to help Baltimore area restaurants in their time of need.
— Jimmy’s Famous Seafood (@JimmysSeafood) February 1, 2021
WrestleZone spoke with Minadakis last year as part of our annual “Best For The Business” series, and he talked about how his friendship with Reigns has grown over the years. Jimmy’s Famous Seafood made some waves in the wrestling community when they raised money in honor of Roman Reigns after the WWE star was diagnosed with leukemia in 2018, but Minadakis has had a close relationship with him that goes back farther than that. He says they’ve been able to get to know each other over the years and they have “always had a lot in common as far as clarity and our legacy and what we wanted to do with our lives” and said it made complete sense to try and give back to someone that had already given so much to others.
“When he got diagnosed it was a no-brainer to [help out] because it would go a long way to make sure someone young doesn’t have to go through that, someone that doesn’t have the financial capabilities as he does. That’s just something we always do [through Jimmy’s]. When you get closer to some guys more than others and you see what’s important to them…that’s what we’re about here and being able to tie them in with their busy lives, it’s cool, it’s beautiful. The great thing is they help raise awareness for the charity itself.”
Minadakis says the desire to help people was influenced by his parents, noting his father was “an immigrant and came over here with nothing.” He says his father really emphasized helping the community and giving back as much as they could because everything he had was given to him in the United States. When asked how he feels about the restaurant becoming a well-known brand as a place to visit, Minadakis said it was a good feeling to give people good food and a good experience.