RED WING -- "Bricks for Tips," the sign read. People lined up Sunday, Sept. 13, to purchase bricks from the damaged Liberty's Restaurant to help the staff until the historic building can be rebuilt and the family-owned eatery back in business. The loaded truck bed gradually grew empty as longtime customers gathered in Central Park for a benefit and a little music.

Six restaurant employees, two cleaners and four of five apartment renters were in the building when a motorist fleeing police crashed into Liberty's on Wednesday, Sept. 2. Owner Doug Noreen said early the following week that employees are being compensated by the restaurant’s insurance companies, but he was not sure if that compensation would include the equivalent of tip wages for servers.

Liberty's Restaurant owner Doug Noreen (red plaid shirt) takes it all in at community members raise funds to compensate his servers for lost tips Sept. 13, 2020. The restaurant has been closed since Sept. 2, 2020, after a motorist rammed into the building and historic facade crumbled. Anne Jacobson/ RiverTown Multimedia
Liberty's Restaurant owner Doug Noreen (red plaid shirt) takes it all in at community members raise funds to compensate his servers for lost tips Sept. 13, 2020. The restaurant has been closed since Sept. 2, 2020, after a motorist rammed into the building and historic facade crumbled. Anne Jacobson/ RiverTown Multimedia

Community members stepped in and Twin Cities band Sawyer's Dream tuned up for a free concern Sunday afternoon dubbed "A Concert to Celebrate Liberty's Restaurant." Funds raised went to counter those lost gratuities.

As Noreen told the people gathering in Central Park before the band stepped into the bandshell, the restaurant will be back and celebrate its 45th anniversary next week. The crowd cheered.

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