Jon Wozniak pressed a button to start recording on his computer, strummed a few chords on his guitar and leaned into the microphone.


“All right,” he said, followed by a brief pause and some more chords. “Just like a normal Friday at Salt.”


The main difference, of course, was that Wozniak was performing not at Salt Gastropub — where he has been a fixture on Friday nights for the past decade — but at his home in the Hunterdon County community of Annandale. Other than that, he did his best to make everything feel like a typical show as he raised money for restaurant employees laid off during the novel coronavirus pandemic.


For roughly two hours last Friday, Wozniak played his renditions of various songs requested by viewers tuning in via Facebook Live, featuring music from classic artists like The Beatles and Cat Stevens to more modern acts like The Killers and Fall Out Boy. With listeners donating to a PayPal link posted along with the video, the virtual concert raised more than $2,100 for the Salt staff.


As someone who has performed at the Byram restaurant almost since it opened in 2008, Wozniak has become good friends with every member of the management and staff during his tenure. His relationship with the owners, Bradley and Laurie Boyle, dates back even further, as Bradley Boyle’s mother was one of Wozniak’s teachers growing up.


“They’ve always taken great care of me over there at Salt, from the top on down to the bartenders who pour me a drink when I take a break,” Wozniak said.


After seeing so many stories of quarantined artists performing live-streamed concerts, Wozniak said “it just jumped out to me as a no-brainer” to put on a similar show to benefit Salt. He contacted the employees and then the Boyles, who were more than happy to allow a fan favorite to help lift their spirits.


“He’s really a big part of our family,” Laurie Boyle said of Wozniak. “We’re all feeling a little helpless during this time when our staff can’t be here and are filing for unemployment, so it’s been difficult.”


Having never performed virtually before, Wozniak spent the days leading up to the concert performing sound checks to ensure that the acoustics in his room would help the music translate well online. The Boyles, in turn, shared details of the concert on their Facebook pages in order to maximize the amount of viewers.


In the end, the video’s statistics show that approximately 1,100 users have logged in to view the concert. While Wozniak admitted that it was strange to hear dead silence in between songs, he was grateful to provide an opportunity for viewers to reconnect with friends and “just turn out for a couple songs.”


The significant turnout for the virtual show should come as no surprise to Salt’s longtime patrons given the restaurant’s penchant for getting involved and donating to numerous community efforts. This time, it was the community’s turn to give back.


“We’re feeling a lot of support from our customers and our friends, and what Jon did shows that they care about our staff,” Laurie Boyle said.


Wozniak, for his part, was quick to direct any praise to the customers and others who donated to the cause, noting that he was just trying to do his part for the people he knows best.


“Anything I can do to help out my friends who have taken care of me for the past 10-plus years, it just feels good,” he said.


Kyle Morel can also be contacted on Twitter: @KMorelNJH, on Facebook: Facebook.com/KMorelNJH, or by phone: 973-383-1292.