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No Such Thing As A Free Lunch? Not For Cops in Fort Worth

Al and Mike Micallef, owners of Reata in Fort Worth and Alpine TX. (KERA News)

The Reata restaurant in Fort Worth says lunch is on the house for anyone in blue through December 31. As KERA’s Doualy Xaykaothao reports the owners are doing this in response to the killings of two New York City police officers who were killed while having lunch in their vehicle last Saturday. There's also a Reata restaurant in Alpine.

At his busy downtown restaurant, Al Micallef, one of the owners of Reata says the killing of two of New York’s finest hurt him deeply.
“I felt extremely frustrated, angry, and the frustration, ya know, says to me, somebody’s gotta do something.”
So he’s decided to buy lunch for nearly a thousand Fort Worth police officers.
“It is a huge financial sacrifice, to feed that many, but I think the fact that we’re doing that sends a real clear message that we really do believe in what we say…We really do appreciate you.”
His son, Mike, also owns the restaurant, and says he felt helpless when he heard how the officers were killed in New York.
“They’re sitting in their cars, and a person who’s hell-bent on hurting a police officer and assassinates them, to ever be targeted for what you do for work, I think is incredibly difficult.”
They’re hoping to turn the tide, and get other restaurants in Texas and across the US to show support for their local police departments.
“I can’t tell you how much this means to our department and to the officers.”
The owners said they took care of even the gratuity, but Bobby Powers, one of the wait-staff, says he’s been in the business for 10 years, and he’s never gotten $100 tip until today.
“Well, I was a little shocked at first. Another server saw it, and came and told me, I was like no, you gotta be talking about a different table. Yah, I was extremely grateful, I thought it was absolutely awesome. First time that’s happened. It thought it was pretty cool.”
The free lunch is available for the Fort Worth restaurant through December 31.