With the sun shining brightly, the tables in the small courtyard of Konoba Makarun in Split should be filled. Instead, the seating area is empty. But, rather than completely shut up shop in the face of enforced closures, Konoba Makarun has decided to keep going. Their daily tasks no longer involve feeding visitors and locals at lunch and dinner; they now prepare and deliver free meals to the isolated and needy.
Meat dishes, pasta and sauce or soups have all appeared on the menu over the past week, with masked restaurant staff carefully cooking and packaging meals for those in need. Once prepared, they deliver the meals to city residents. As is traditional, on Friday, meat was replaced on the menu by fish, which was donated to the restaurant for free by local fishermen.
The restaurant's altruistic endeavours have made them a story of interest in the local media and since their tale was told, Makarun has been inundated with offers of assistance. People from elsewhere in Dalmatia and members of the Croatian diaspora have offered to send food or money to help keep the good work going. They have also been contacted by relatives and friends of Split residents who are isolated, requesting that their loved ones be added to the delivery list. So far, the restaurant, which is without its regular cash flow due to the general shut down, says it has enough resources to continue its work for another 20 days. Hopefully, they can find a way to carry on for as long as their selfless efforts are needed.