Little Italy

Selling Branded T-Shirts to Help Local Restaurants During Pandemic

Partnering with Wallatees, The Crack Shack designed a T-shirt and made sure to include some chicken-related decor

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Even popular restaurants like Little Italy's "The Crack Shack" have hit hard economic times, restricted to takeout and delivery orders during the coronavirus pandemic.

"We were forced to furlough some people and we were forced to close our doors," said Nicole Rogers, The Crack Shack's marketing director.

It has been over a month since San Diego County issued its public health orders, closing dine-in services at restaurants and ordering people to socially distance as much as possible.

When the health order came down, the restaurant knew they needed to come up with something relevant but also on-brand -- the restaurant is known among fans for its fun outdoor vibe and cheeky branding.

They found the owner of a local T-shirt company who, remembering his time as a restaurant worker, went looking for ways to help small businesses through these tough times.

Partnering with Uri Bialostozky, owner and CEO of Wallatees, they designed a T-shirt and made sure to include some chicken-related decor.

"The back says 'Back The Cluck Up.' So trying to get people behind you to back up and respect your social distancing needs," Rogers said.

Bialostozky has created an entire web page of shirts to benefit small businesses in San Diego like The Crack Shack.

"From the very beginning when we started this business my brother and I, one of our core beliefs growing up -- not just in the business but in general -- has been community," Bialostozky told NBC 7.

The shirts sell for $20 and the website says half of that goes to the represented business. Other well-known restaurants with T-shirts include Broken Yolk, Board & Brew and Waterbar San Diego.

Rogers said business has started to pick up a little bit, but their main focus is still to-go orders -- easy and safe.

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