Fresh Meadows restaurant brings meals and smiles to essential workers during COVID-19 pandemic

Chef Danny Salas and Owner Adam Tortora
Photo courtesy of Filmore’s Tavern

For 43 years, Fillmore’s Tavern in Fresh Meadows has been an establishment that the community can rely on for freshly cooked meals, delicious drinks, friendly service and a place to call home. 

Although the tavern, located at 166th Street and 65th Avenue, was forced to close its doors to the public over a month ago due to the coronavirus pandemic, some loyal employees, chefs and management have still been working in order to continue their takeout business. 

Staff members Jen Casworm and Natalie Tortora package the meals for delivery to essential workers serving on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Fillmore’s Tavern)

They have also been continuing to serve the community by operating a “marketplace” at their front entrance where people can purchase canned goods, butchered meats, paper goods and affordable grab-and-go meals. 

(Photo courtesy of Fillmore’s Tavern)

After opening the marketplace and running the takeout business, Adam Tortora, owner of Fillmore’s Tavern, realized he wanted to do more to assist other essential workers. 

Community members, customers and more started sending him donations to sponsor meals for neighboring businesses that were deemed essential. 

“Staying healthy is our main goal and if we can do some good for at-risk essential employees and keep people working during this time, we will do whatever we can,” Tortora said. 

Currently, they have raised approximately $6,000 and have sent meals to the local police precincts, firehouses and emergency rooms. 

Owner of Fillmore’s Tavern, Adam Tortora. (Photo courtesy of Fillmore’s Tavern)

Monica Rogan, a physician assistant in the emergency room at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens, was working another long shift when the donation of meals arrived from Fillmore’s Tavern. 

“I can’t begin to say how thankful myself and my colleagues were to receive these meals during our shift,” Rogan said. “Sometimes I am so caught up with caring for people that I forget to eat — it was a much-needed meal. Thank you to Fillmore’s Tavern and to those that have sponsored these meals so far.”

NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital receives meals delivered from Fillmore’s Tavern (Photo courtesy of Fillmore’s Tavern)

As Fillmore Tavern receives more meal sponsorships, they are able to continue sending free meals to more essential workers to thank them for their dedication and tireless efforts to keep the community going. 

“It’s important that we remember those that are risking their lives every day,” Tortora said. 

Packaged meals were also delivered to healthcare professionals at Queens Hospital Center and Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

A GoFundMe page has been created where people can contribute while also supporting a local business. For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/ucq343g.