ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – The Getaway is a fitting name for one St. Petersburg restaurant, as the owners are now trying to get away from death threats they’re receiving online in response to a video that went viral. (Watch the full video below.)
The Getaway Bar and Restaurant is located along Gandy Boulevard in St. Petersburg, just west of the bridge.
“I love this place. It’s a beautiful property,” said Justin Middleton, who works at the restaurant.
On March 30, a nine-minute video was posted by his boss that was meant for employees only.
Karina Tashkin and her husband Scott are co-owners of The Getaway. The video Karina posted said, in part, “When the virus began and the shutdowns began of restaurants, we didn’t have to pay you. Not even the last paycheck. But we did.”
Some think she wasn’t going to pay her employees due to coronavirus. But she claims that’s not true.
Karina tells us the video was taken out of context.
“My message, it was meant not in the way it’s been portrayed,” she said.
Karina said she meant they could have laid people off weeks ago due to business being slow. We asked if she meant they would be withholding pay.
“God, no!” she told us.
The video has received a lot of reaction online.
“From death threats and threatening to burn the place down,” Karina’s husband Scott said.
Middleton said, as an employee, the video didn’t bother him.
“I watched it and I was like, wow, good message. [She’s] just keeping people in the loop,” said Middleton.
The owners say, in the past, they have gone above and beyond for staff, treating them like family.
“Helping with down payments on apartments, on cars, loans, advances, food,” said Scott.
Due to COVID-19, the owners have been doing to-go orders the past two weeks. But now they’ve temporarily shut down completely due to the threats.
Karina said they didn’t want to put their employees in harm’s way. She says they look forward to reopening soon.
“I love these people, these are…it’s my team,” said Karina.
You can watch the full video that went viral after being posted on March 30th here:
LATEST ON THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC:
- Coronavirus in Florida: Past month in review
- White House bans travel to the US from Brazil
- Where seniors would have walked to graduate, names in chalk
- CCCHS celebrates graduates with drive-through ceremony and parade
- New York Times publishes names of American lives lost to coronavirus