Tag Archives: coronavirus lockdown

Chicago restaurants step into the breach on virus lockdown

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Chicago – view from closed Cafe Brauer in Lincoln Park

The Coronavirus lockdown continues. Many courageous restaurateurs are continuing to offer service for pickup and/or delivery – and many of their brave employees are continuing to serve. We are grateful for these opportunities to continue partaking of delicious food despite the forced closures for dining out. And happy to report many restaurants and brewing companies and bars are offering alcohol to go in Chicago, per this list from Thrillist.

A new website has sprung up that focuses on aggregating the names of restaurants that are continuing to offer takeout and delivery options. It’s called Dining at a Distance, and here’s the link to Chicago’s collection. Always be sure to call to make sure your chosen restaurant is still offering these services.. Meanwhile, here are a few opportunities to continue partaking of delicious food despite the forced closures for dining out.

Doc B’s Restaurant + Bar is providing a more valuable food delivery and pick-up experience for customers by introducing “Doc B’s Stimulus Package” to help people earn 50% back on what they spend. All delivery or pick up purchases made between March 18-April 14 can be redeemed for a gift card worth 50% of people’s total purchases. All you have to do is save their receipts from a delivery platform or Doc B’s, and bring them to the restaurant (April 15-30) to receive the gift card. Delivery order for Doc B’s (River North ONLY – 55 E Grand Ave) can be made DocBsDelivery.com or on most major food delivery sites.

Roka Akor, steakhouse, sushi and seafood. announced that all locations have adjusted takeout/delivery options. Check out the new Family Packs for $24pp, adding ramen and Bao’s to the menu and adding ways to donate to the Employee Relief Fund. Here’s a link to the full menus for Chicago, Old Orchard and Oakbrook. They also have the Drink and Donate 20/20 Deal (With every bottle of wine or sake purchased you will receive 20% OFF and Roka Akor will DONATE $20 to our Employee Relief Fund).

Umai Aji-Ya is one of those spots still open for business. Umai Aji-Ya is an authentic Japanese restaurant featuring ramen and other Japanese dishes and appetizers. Located in the heart of Naperville, this new restaurant is remaining open during the current COVID-19 pandemic, delivering Japanese straight to your door. As of March 16th, Umai Aji-Ya is no longer offering dine-in options for customers in an effort to ensure safety in the midst of the current pandemic. Umai Aji-Ya is practicing social distancing and reassuring the community that they are making an effort to protect the patrons. Umai has also partnered with local businesses to offer free delivery, free kids meals, and 25% off for first responders and local medical personnel. As a way to limit contact, Umai Aji-Ya is no longer accepting cash and delivery drivers will be taking advanced safety and sanitary measures while making deliveries.

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Help for laid-off restaurant workers

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Sheltering at home with no income (Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash)

We are grateful to all those restaurant owners and employees who are continuing to make and distribute food for us all in this difficult time. Many thanks to all of you.

For the many restaurants that have not been able to remain open, help is on the way for their laid-off workers. It’s really great to see this kind of caring partnership in action.

In partnership with the @LEEInitiative, @chefedwardlee (610 Magnolia, The Mind of a Chef), One Off Hospitality (Big Star, The Publican, avec, The Violet Hour) and Chef-Partner Paul Kahan have announced that beginning on Tuesday, March 24th at 5pm, Big Star Wicker Park will transform into an ongoing headquarters for restaurant workers relief. With the help of @makersmark, the One Off team will prepare and pack hundreds of to-go dinners & grocery bags each night that will be offered to recently unemployed restaurant workers who are in dire need of food and supplies.

The Restaurant Workers Relief program will be offered seven nights a week throughout the quarantine period or for as long as supplies last. The LEE (Let’s Empower Employment) Initiative, works to bring more diversity and equality to the restaurant industry. All donations are welcome at www.leeinitiative.org and will help extend this service throughout the current public health crisis.

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