Though he now successfully owns and operates Tellos Grill and Cafe, Angel Tello said memories of tough times provided inspiration for a recent decision to help out community members by providing free food during the W.J. Niederkorn Library's regular Friday night movie features.
Tello said he used to frequent a similar movie event — where snacks were provided — after injuries left him unable to work for several years in the early 2000s. After speaking to Annie Bahringer, Adult Services coordinator for the library, and realizing that no snacks were provided — Tello jumped at the opportunity.
"I thought (the free food and movie event was) really helpful," Tello said. "I believe, always, in giving something back to the community — it’s the right thing."
The After Hours Movies take place on select Fridays at the library. The addition of free food so far has been a hit.
"We've done three movies so far, (and) he's brought a different spread every time," said Annie Bahringer, Adult Services coordinator for the library. "We even had a lady call in the afternoon, (and ask) 'Will you have food? Because otherwise we'll get a bite to eat before we come.' He's been absolutely awesome. And we've had great feedback. ... We cannot thank Tellos enough!"
Though Tello said he is glad to be able to give back this way, he's not looking for this to be limited to Tellos if others are interested.
"I don't know what other business owners think, but I think that this is something that … at least (for) downtown Port Washington businesses — we could rotate, and give to the people … who come to see the movie," he said. "Tellos doesn't mind to do it, but I like to invite other businesses and see what they think."
The options so far have included hot dogs, quesadillas, mini burritos and chicken wings. Upcoming movies include: The Raven at 7 p.m. Oct. 12, and Young Frankenstein (a discussion group) at 6 p.m. Oct. 26.
"Who knows what he'll bring next!" Bahringer said.