San Diego

Handyman's Picnic Tables Help Keep Restaurants Open

Julio Perez and his team have built dozens of table in only a few days

NBCUniversal, Inc.

It was supposed to be a picnic table for his grandkids. It turned into an enterprise that could help dozens of restaurants stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

Julie Perez is a self-proclaimed handyman. He recently built a child-size wooden picnic table for his grandchildren so they could have a safe place to sit in the park. On a whim, he put a picture of the small table on the social media app OfferUp.

Nick Kacha saw the table and immediately contacted the Chula Vista-based handyman. Kacha is the manager at Rudford’s Restaurant in North Park. Kacha was faced with new state regulations that prohibited him from serving food inside for the next few weeks. He was looking to make an outdoor eating area in Rudford’s parking lot.

“We’re not throwing our hands up, that’s for sure,” he exclaimed.

“He was the first one that answered and said that, ‘I can have tables ready in a week,’” said Kacha.

“And now, people calling me left and right, saying, ‘Hey, I want the adult one,’” said Perez as he stood outside of his home with a platoon of family and friends making picnic tables by the dozens.

“Just for them to give me something to do, keep me busy, and not only that, but pay my bills,” Perez said. “You know, it’s growing. Thank God.”

In only a few days, Perez and his hometown team have built dozens of wooden picnic tables for Rudford’s, Pizzeria Luigi in Imperial Beach, and Filippi’s Pizza Grotto.

Perez said the large orders allow him to give a paycheck to people who need one. The tables allow restaurants to give a paycheck to employees.

“You know, one good deed to somebody else can spiral into 20 or a hundred,” said Kacha.

It’s a series of good deeds that could keep a lot of people afloat during the pandemic.

“We’re proud,” concluded Perez. “I’m happy.”

Perez doesn’t have a website and told NBC 7 to simply post his phone number for anyone who needs a picnic table for their restaurant: (619) 755-1177.

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