Original Joe’s leaves special message for customer who left car behind

Original Joe's Sherwood Park left this message for a patron who left their vehicle in the parking lot overnight. Credit, Faceook: Paula Grzelak-Schultz

An Edmonton-area pub is being praised for the way it rewards customers who make the decision not to drink and drive.

Earlier this week, a Sherwood Park woman took to Facebook to share an experience she had at Original Joe’s in Sherwood Park.

After leaving her vehicle in the restaurant parking lot overnight, Paula Grzelak-Schultz returned in the morning to find a piece of paper on her windshield. Immediately she thought she was in trouble.

“I thought I was getting in trouble for leaving my car in front of the entryway to the pub,” she wrote on Facebook Tuesday morning. As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, the Facebook post had been shared more than 5,000 times.

But it turns out that wasn’t the case at all. She opened the letter to find out the manager of the pub actually wanted to thank her, and reward her, for her decision to leave the car there overnight.

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“I’m not sure if you had consumed alcohol at our restaurant or not, but we wanted to thank you for not drinking and driving,” read the letter from Jay McLean, managing partner of Original Joe’s Sherwood Park.

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READ MORE: ‘I noticed you left your lights on’: Edmonton Good Samaritan’s note goes viral

As a show of appreciation, the bar enclosed a voucher good for one pound of Original Joe’s chicken wings.

“Please accept this as a thank you for being responsible,” the note read.

After seeing a bar out east doing something similar, McLean decided about a year ago to randomly leave notes and vouchers for people who leave their vehicles in the parking lot overnight.

“Here, I’m in Sherwood Park, kind of out of the way, and I just thought, ‘wow, what a great idea,'” McLean said Wednesday. “With OJ’s, it’s all about community and I thought this was the perfect way to impact my community.”

McLean said his motives are not to increase publicity for his restaurant. He said it’s a small way he can acknowledge and reward people who choose to find a safe way home rather than drink and drive.

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“They came here and they chose to spend some of their few precious free minutes with us,” he said. “I just hope they feel appreciated and thanked for not getting behind the wheel.

In her Facebook post, Grzelak-Schultz said she was impressed by the manager’s move and that she would definitely return to the restaurant because of how well he treats his patrons, not because of the free chicken wings.

A request for comment from Paula Grzelak-Schultz was not returned by the time this story was published.

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