CARLSBAD — For the third year in a row, Gregorio’s Restaurant in Carlsbad Village is donating all of its profits to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad. Yes, three years.
To date, the donations have reached $105,000 and the numbers are inching higher with each meal. The monies are going toward the completion of The Boys & Girls Club Bressi Ranch facility.
This year, Gregorio’s Restaurant is offering a new spin to attract more diners called, Tuesday Night, where people can be community guest hosts.
“The main reason for this promotion is to get more people through the doors and eating Gregorio’s delicious meals,” said Pat Maldi, director of marketing and special events at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad. “The community guest host is asked to invite at least 50 of their friends to come in on the night they are ‘working’ and it’s a great way to let more people know that Gregorio’s is giving 100 percent of their profits for the third straight year back to the club, and hopefully get them to dine at Gregorio’s often.”
Gregorio’s owners, Greg and Barbi Nelson, have been invaluable in achieving these goals. Maldi describes their dedication and fundraising involvement as huge. “They’ve taken restaurant nights for charity to a whole new level,” she said. “Simply put, Barbi and Greg Nelson’s generosity is amazing — the Nelsons have big hearts, they love kids, and they love Carlsbad.”
Greg Nelson has strong ties to the club. He and his brother went there every day after school.
“The club will always have a big place in my heart,” he said. “If I gave back for the next 100 years, I could never equal what the club has given me.”
Nelson is thrilled with the community guest hosts they’ve had so far. The list includes Carlsbad Fire Chief Kevin Crawford and people representing businesses and organizations such as Legoland, Jazzercise, Rancho Carlsbad Estates, Jefferson Elementary, various churches and board members of the club.
Nelson’s focus is the completion of the Bressi Ranch project. It’s estimated that $1 million more is needed to finish the entire clubhouse.
A portion of Bressi Ranch, however, has already been up and running.
“Our phase one of the interior, which includes the gym, Rancho Carlsbad Teen Center, and restrooms, officially opened on Aug. 30 to a sold-out crowd of 125 children,” Maldi said. “There are currently over 100 additional kids on a waiting list, clamoring to get in.”
Maldi pointed out that they are currently examining ways to move forward with phase two of the interior which includes the large game room, learning center, computer lab, and possibly the program rooms for art, drama and dance.
“As a nonprofit organization, the Boys & Girls Club is supported solely by donations,” she said, adding that their construction progress is based on donations received.
Nelson wants everyone to know how thankful he is for all the diners who’ve supported the “Gregorio’s idea” over the past couple of years. He also sends out special thanks to those who dine there weekly.
“If you haven’t been to Gregorio’s, you need to come in and see what you’re missing; there are great lunch specials, a fabulous wine list, and the restaurant is family and pet friendly,” Nelson said. “Barbi and I call it our ‘kitchen away from home.’”
For more information on being a community guest host, call Maldi at (760) 729-0207 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org