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Community help for unemployed Shaw’s Steakhouse workers

Dozens of restaurant workers suddenly jobless after a devastating fire ripped through Shaw’s Steakhouse in Santa Maria last week are getting some help from colleagues in Old Town Orcutt.

The owners of Vino Et Amicis Wine Bar in the Orcutt Union Plaza will donate 20 percent of their gross sales on Wednesday to the unemployed Shaw’s Steakhouse workers, some of whom are single parents.

The wine bar owners are challenging other food and beverage establishments in the community to follow their lead.

More than 40 people who worked at Shaw’s Steakhouse and neighboring Sergio’s Furniture and Mattress shop are out of work after the stubborn fire last Thursday morning gutted Sergio’s and nearly wiped out Shaw’s.

Santa Maria Fire Department investigators and insurance company investigators are examining evidence and other items collected from where the fire is believed to have started, in the alleyway behind Sergio’s Furniture and Mattress, to determine a cause of the fire.

Damage to property and contents at both Sergio’s Furniture and Shaw’s Steakhouse is expected to exceed one million dollars.

The owner of Shaw’s Steakhouse, Milt Guggia Enterprises, is trying to find shifts for employees at other company restaurants between Buellton and Pismo Beach.

Many displaced Shaw’s workers will end up having to file for unemployment benefits.

The owner plans to rebuild and re-open Shaw’s Steakhouse at some point in the future.

It could be several weeks before a final determination on the cause of the fire is made by investigators.

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