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Shaq Visits His Favorite Restaurant With an Unusual Request - Then, He Shocks the Watchful Owner With a Surprise
Shaquille O’Neal Shocks Struggling Owner at His Favorite Restaurant With $35K
Uplifting News

Shaq Visits His Favorite Restaurant With an Unusual Request - Then, He Shocks the Watchful Owner With a Surprise

When it comes to restaurants, Shaq has an appetite for more than food.

Even before she hears the full sentence, tears are streaming down her eyes.

A Restaurant With Community Love

While Atlanta is full of soul food spots, some spots have extra soul, like 'Restaurant 10.' Executive Chef Lori Clay explains that they're about much more than meals.

"Our owners were born and raised in this community. It was imperative that they put back in the community," she says, adding that they cater to nearby area schools.

But make no mistake, from macaroni to mashed potatoes, their food is legit.

In fact, this small-town restaurant attracts some big-name clients. One of them is basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal. He's a super fan who has given a shoutout to their ribs on social media.

In fact, Shaq's even had some creative input. "He's the one that inspired us to change our menu because he came in and he said, 'I want some fried chicken.' And we were like, okay," recalls Clay.

Yet when he walks through their doors at 10 Northside Drive on this day, Shaq is craving something off-menu.

Something’s off in the Kitchen

Chef cooking in a kitchen
Photo by RDNE Stock Project 

Today, Shaq offers to lend a hand in the kitchen.

"And you know what I'm going to do for you today? I'm going to feed you today. Oh, no. I want you to sit down and relax. I'm going to go back there and get the food," he tells Clay.

Under Clay's watchful eye, Shaq cooks up some chicken wings. Clay even shouts out his wristwork in shaking them in the batter.

But as the food's ready, a surprise guest walks into the kitchen.

"Elicia!" Shaq calls at her.

It's Elicia Azali, the Chief Revenue Officer of The General Insurance company. Shaq teamed up with Azali and sports site Bleacher Report as part of the 'Shaq Gives Back' series, where he helps local businesses in need.

Hearing that his favorite restaurant was hurting gave Shaq the motivation to help. That's when Azali tells Clay that the General is giving her restaurant a $35,000 Employee Relief Fund.

Clay immediately bursts into tears.

“Let me tell you something, these guys, you have no idea how they’ve been working under staff. Staying here trying to get it done, trying to learn come up to the standard, train new people. It’s just been a lot. So, I think this is one of the best things you guys could have ever given us because nobody’s had really much time off and we greatly appreciate it.”

Consider this restaurant rescue a success.

How Shaquille O’Neal Proves That Soul Fills Everyone’s Plate

Per 11Alive, COVID forced scores of spots just like Restaurant 10 to shutter their doors.

Take for example the Georgie Grille, which closed after 30 years. "Grateful for everyone that joined with us to create a special place for the community to come together and celebrate life!" said the company's farewell message.

There's also Jack's New Yorker Deli, shuttered after 13 years. "Thank you for making Jack's NYD one of Marietta's most popular eating establishments. It was our pleasure to service the community," they wrote.

We all know of a business that serves so much more than food. I still remember my father taking me to Decarie Hotdog after a baseball game (given my poor skills, it served mostly as a comfort food).

It's nice to see one restaurant that will continue to serve warm dishes. But wait, there's one hungry customer.

"Hey, dog, let me get some more of that macaroni boy, I'll start my diet tomorrow," says Shaq.

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