MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Small town Wisconsin restaurant owners fell on some bad luck when one of them came down with a rare form of pneumonia, but their luck has since changed – due to the help of another bar owner.

About a year ago, Mike and Sarah Moore opened Sam’s Corner Bar & Grill in New Richmond. A few weeks back, however, Mike became sick with the rare form of pneumonia and he had to be sedated into a coma.

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Sarah was about to give birth, too, so she did what she says she had to — bearing the weight of an unborn infant and the family business. Now, awake, Mike has a slow recovery ahead.

“Mike and I made a deal that he stays strong in the hospital and works on getting better and I stay strong outside of the hospital and take care of everything else with the help of Paul,” Sarah said.

Paul Mode runs Agave in Hudson about 20 miles from New Richmond. Now, he also run’s Mike’s bar too.

“No, but knowing you have the ability to fix the situation than sitting on your but, I’m not gonna live with that,” Paul said.

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Paul’s staff has taken over and he’s tending bar, for free.

“He’s our employee. You know we wouldn’t have a business if it wasn’t for him,” Sarah said.

Mike and Sarah’s baby, Scarlett, looked on Wednesday as the two met for the first time. They’re new partners who instead of money, exchanged a hug.

“I’d say he’s more than a friend. He’s definitely part of our family now,” Mike said.

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Paul will be helping with a dinner benefit for Mike’s family Friday. It’s from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Ready Randy’s in New Richmond.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield