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Help laid-off workers and chow down on some Southern scratch cookin'

Ida Claire at the St. Johns Town Center works to help its employees who've lost their jobs.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Ida Claire at the St. Johns Town Center just opened last November. It was packed with people, who love scratch cooking from fried chicken to homemade biscuits and jam.

Now 60+ waitresses, bartenders and other employees at Ida Claire have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Assistant Manager Quentin Lesser says, "We're trying to stay positive. But it's hard. It's really a family here."

Now that in-house restaurant eating is not allowed, the only option is take-out.

But there's a positive in that. Lesser says all the tip money from take-out orders will be passed along to the employees. Plus, the restaurant is offering them free lunches.

So who's cooking? Lesser says, "It's all hands on deck. The managers are cooking. I'll wash dishes if I have to. We keep everything clean."  

Lesser says the only thing not made from scratch is "ketchup." 

Credit: Lesser

Ida Claire is preparing go-home spreads, as well as individual dinners.

Lesser is hoping people will stop by and support the effort to get some money back to employees caught now without a paycheck.