Mac and Bob's restaurant serves packed crowd despite financial crisis

Hundreds of customers lined up outside Salem staple before doors opened

SALEM, Va. – It was busier than usual at Mac and Bob's restaurant Sunday morning.

Before doors opened at 10 a.m, loyal customers were already lined up outside.

Co-owner Bob Rotanz, who opened the restaurant 38 years ago, greeted the customers like they were family. 

Rotanz said the lawsuits allege that he violated tip-pooling laws by allowing servers to tip out to the dishwashers.

“The whole thing ballooned into a million-dollar settlement. We didn't have the money to pay the attorney to litigate it,” Rotanz said.

Since filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Rotanz said he and his staff are getting an enormous amount of support from the community. 

When a GoFundMe page was created to help Rotanz with legal fees, more than $120,000 was raised within two days, exceeding the goal of $100,000.

“Bob and the folks that work here are nothing but the best people,” Bill Philips, a customer, said.

Despite the financial crisis, Rotanz said the restaurant will not be closing.