COVID stricken Gwinnett Co. restaurant owner gets help from his customers

DACULA, Ga. — The owner of a Gwinnett County BBQ restaurant is fighting for his life with complications from COVID-19 and his customers are making sure his business doesn’t suffer.

For the past month, customers at Fat Caps BBQ on Pharr Avenue in Dacula have come for brisket, but found the business closed.

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Owner and Pit master Steve Robb and his wife LeeAnn both came down with the virus in March. Then last week, Steve started having a tough time breathing and was rushed to the hospital.

“He then actually started, help me, help me, I think I’m dying. I can’t breathe!” his wife LeeAnn told Channel Two Action News Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Tony Thomas. Steve is now in intensive care with one collapsed lung and a second filled with fluid.

“COVID has wreaked havoc on him.” LeeAnn said. “His tube that is in his lung to keep it inflated, the one that collapsed last week, it’s come out a few times and done some damage.”

“It’s definitely hard when you see your parents going through something hard.” daughter Anna said as she stood at the counter of the empty restaurant.

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The family posted a sign on front of the restaurant door stating, the business is “temporarily closed.”

Fat Caps is the family’s only source of income. Both of their adult children work there part-time as well. LeeAnn was worried about not only her husband, but the bills piling up.

But customers are coming to the rescue.

Customer Becky Turner started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the family.

The site has raised $9,310 so far for the families expenses. Turner presented Mrs. Robb with a check recently for $4,000 promising more is on the way soon.

“I can pray but I know she needs to write a check so let’s get some money in there to make it happen.” Turner told Thomas.

The Robbs son Austin says the outpouring has made all the difference. " One thing that comes out of this is you see just how many people care.”

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LeeAnn wiped tears as she thought about the future. “We are going to get through it. The doctor says it’s a long road, they don’t know because of his condition right now how much damage has been done. We are hoping to get through it though.. we are going to get through it.”