PARMA, Ohio — Angel and Tracy Agosto like to make people feel welcome. It’s the reason they opened up Rookies Sports Bar and Grill in Parma Heights and then opened up another location in Parma.
Besides beer and burgers, it may just be their specialty. But there’s a group of customers the two co-owners of Rookies feel especially drawn to, local heroes.
“We call it heroes day,” said Angel Agosto.
Every Wednesday the two locations offer a $10 discount to all first responders.
“Most of our menus are $10 or less, so what we are trying to get you is a free meal,” said Agosto. “Any first responder, police, fire, or EMS can go ahead and come into Rookies or just show an ID and you get a meal on us.”
It’s something the couple started about seven years ago, but it has dwindled in popularity.
“I think over the years it has trickled down, COVID hit and we were shut down a little bit,” said Tracy Agosto. It was her idea to add registered nurses to the heroes list, too.
“We don’t have big pockets to write out checks but we can definitely impact one first responder at a time,” said Angel Agosto.
But now, they’re working harder than ever to promote it because the Rookies staff knows the definition of a hero’s sacrifice more than ever.
“We had a night that one of us kept us very safe,” said Tracy Agosto.
In March of last year, Rookies lost one of its own after two men opened fire on a customer in the parking lot: Tim Cruz, their security guard and an off-duty Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Deputy, ran to help and asked the shooters to stop but they shot and killed him. However, it was not before Cruz returned fire so that the shooter would leave.
“We’re always going to think of him. You open the door in the morning and the first thing you think of is Tim. You see a light flicker and you say ‘oh, he is here. Good morning,’ he is always keeping us safe,” said Agosto.
Every Wednesday, Rookies offers a $10 token of appreciation that is worth a whole lot more than a discounted meal for officers who spoke to News 5.
“We appreciate it for sure. There are still citizens out there who appreciate the work that we do and appreciate and support us for everything that we do,” said police officer Alejandro Giraldo. “Also the citizens see us out here and they see that we are still human. It’s building those relationships here that help us on the road and out in the field.”