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Former NHLer Tomas Kaberle delivers food from wife's restaurant during outbreak
TORONTO -- Tomas Kaberle, former defenceman for the Toronto Maple Leafs, has been surprising fans across the city while delivering meals from his wife Julia’s restaurant, Quanto Basta, an Italian restaurant located in downtown Toronto.
“She didn’t have to (ask for help), I hate staying at home,” Kaberle told CTV News Channel on Monday.
“It’s fun. Some people double-take and say: ‘I know you from somewhere,’ some people want to take pictures and some people don’t even know because I keep my distance and wave from the car.”
Kaberle spent more than a decade as a member of the Leafs, while also spending time with the Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes and Montreal Canadiens. He won the Stanley Cup in 2011 with the Bruins and won a bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics as a member of Team Czech Republic.
Kaberle said when someone recognizes him while on a delivery or at the takeout window, he initially denies it’s him, then jokes that they might know him from hockey.
“They laugh and it makes me happy,” he said. “When I do stuff like this, it’s easy for me.”
While the 42-year-old said he welcomed the opportunity to help out, Julia said it took some convincing.
“I feel like I twisted his arm a little bit, just because we’re such a small staff, and he was great,” she said.
Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, many restaurants took to delivery service only, which has been hard on these businesses. Julia said her restaurant has lost upwards of 75 per cent of its orders since the outbreak began and they had to temporarily lay off 25 people.
Despite the loss in sales, Julia said some of her regular customers have decided to order extra food to help them out, including purchases of full family-sized lasagnas.
“The community here has been so amazing to us,” she said.
As a thanks, Julia said the restaurant is donating a portion of sales to the Michael Garron Hospital in the east end of Toronto to help with buying extra masks and gloves for healthcare workers.
With files from CTVNews.ca Writer Ben Cousins
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