Bowling alley helps workers impacted by East Bay fire

By Nikki

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) A special fundraiser for several businesses lost in a recent fire put people back to work Wednesday, which meant money back in their pockets.

From bartending to waiting tables, The Alley served up some new faces Wednesday.

"It really, really says a lot that people take the time out of their day to throw benefits for us to help us out in an obvious time of need," said Brian Peters, a bartender who worked at Squeeze.

Squeeze was one of four businesses badly damaged in a massive fire on April 2. Others businesses damaged included The Brick, Club Light and The Speakeasy.

"To have it kind of taken away from us, and what we felt was kind of our hitting peaks, you know, was pretty devastating," said Peters.

Peters says, like the Alley, area businesses have kindly offered a helping hand.

"I know some other bartenders have definitely been offered jobs by a lot of gracious managers and places like this that know we've kind of lost jobs," said Peters. "Squeeze has a couple of other things going on. We have a company called Squeeze-On-Site, so we do events like weddings and parties which have really helped us coast through everything.

About 16 workers offered their services at The Alley. In return, they received a large portion of the tips and sales generated.

"The community has been amazing," said Joseph Fahey, a bartender at Speakeasy.

Fahey says at least for now, he and another co-worker have landed a new job.

"Burwell's Steakhouse came to us and gave us their back deck," said Fahey.

"It's just brings us all closer together and shows we're there for one another," said Jimmy Poole, the owner of The Alley. "We don't feel like we're giving back as much as we feel like we're helping out one of our own."

As the East Bay fire remains under investigation, workers at several of those businesses impacted say they will rebuild.

"We definitely will be back up and running--that's for sure, hopefully within a year," said Peters.