A running log of merch, prizes, and donation opportunities to help bridge the gap for employees during the mandated closure
bChicago bars closed Monday night, as restaurants also closed their dining rooms service for at least two weeks to try and limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, as ordered by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. Customers can still get delivery, carry out, and curbside service, but the decision leaves restaurant and bar staff without paychecks.
There are ways for customers to help. Some have suggested “virtual happy hours” where friends converse using video over drinks. Folks could then tip one of the several virtual tip jar — online fundraisers from the staff at their favorite bars.
Hospitality industry employees and supporters have set up the online campaigns to help bridge the fiscal gap for servers, bussers, bartenders, and other staff. In addition, a new website called Dining at a Distance provides further details on which Chicago restaurants are open for pickup and delivery during the shutdown.
Here’s a running list of fundraisers and opportunities to provide financial support for Chicago’s bar and restaurant workers.
See a fundraiser or helpful link? Please email [email protected] with any pertinent info.
AROUND TOWN— Though they’re based in LA now, the company that started the Saved by the Bell pop-up started in Chicago. They’ve gone on to working Breaking Bad, Good Burger, and more. Now they’re asking for the public’s help. They started a GoFundMe, as planned pop-ups, like Clueless, have been postponed.
AROUND TOWN— Support Staff is a new initiative that launched in March by bartenders to help hospitality workers deal with mental health challenges that may have arisen due to the public health crisis. It has a $100,000 goal for its GoFundMe.
AROUND TOWN — Local mini-chainHeritage Bicycles and Coffee, which operates seven Chicago locations along with Uptown cocktail bar Larry’s, is asking supporters to help staff by raising $40,000 on GoFundMe.
AROUND TOWN — Restaurant group Hogsalt Hospitality created a GoFundMe for its more than 600 employees, including servers, chefs, cooks, polishers, baristas, bakers, bartenders, and more. It aims to raise $500,000.
ANDERSONVILLE — Servers at neighborhood spot A Taste of Heavenare seeking donations on GoFundMe to help make it through the restaurant’s closure. They’ve set a $10,000 goal, and funds will be distributed evenly among staff.
IRVING PARK —Montrose Saloon owners are working to find odd jobs around the venue to help staff make up some lost income, but are also asking for community support to close the gap for workers. They are using GoFundMe to raise $25,000, which will be distributed equitably among employees.
LAKEVIEW — Matilda & Baby Atlasowners aim to raise $10,000 for staff on GoFundMe, which they’ve vowed to split between employees to cover regular wages during the mandated closure.
LAKEVIEW — Essential Chicago dive Liar’s Clubis asking for help to raise $10,000 on GoFundMe for staff. “No amount is too small,” owners wrote.
LAKEVIEW — Ownership at Metro, Smartbar and GMan Tavern set a $30,000 goal on GoFundMe to help staff weather the state-mandated shutters.
LAKEVIEW — Restaurant and indie music venue Beat Kitchen is working to raise $25,000 on GoFundMe for bartenders, wait staff, production crews, sound staff, kitchen workers and security employees affected by the closure.
LAKEVIEW — Neighborhood coffeehouse Bombastic Cafe is asking for help raising $3,000 on GoFundMe to help support baristas during the mandated shutdown.
LAKEVIEW — Racine Plumbinghas launched a “staff tip jar” on GoFundMe, aiming to raise $5,000. The team also encouraged folks to reach out if they’re having a hard time sourcing grocery items, and that they’ll help out whenever possible.
LAKEVIEW — Wisconsin-friendly sports bar Redmond’s Ale House is using GoFundMe to try and raise $10,000 for furloughed employees.
LOGAN SQUARE — All-day restaurant Renois asking for support to help its staff, including bartenders, servers, bus boys, food runners, and cooks, during the closure. Supporters can donate to “Reno 911” on GoFundMe, and the goal amount is $20,000.
LOGAN SQUARE — New York-style pizza spotDante’s hopes to raise $10,000 on GoFundMe to help cooks, bartenders, and servers mitigate the closure’s financial strain.
LOGAN SQUARE — Neighborhood barBurlington aims to raise $5,000 on GoFundMe to help staff navigate the mandated closure.
PILSEN — Owners of Dusek’s and Thalia Hallare offering gifts in exchange for donations via GoFundMe, with prizes including shirts, VIP seating, and a private stage lighting lesson. They’re working to reach a $30,000 goal.
RIVER NORTH — New American restaurant Bernie’s is working to raise $20,000 in a GoFundMe for staff.
RIVER NORTH — Modern Mexican restaurant Cantina Laredoset up a GoFundMe for front and back-of-house workers. It aims to raise $10,000.
RIVER NORTH — Mom’s Place, a bar and music venue in River North, has set up a fund with a $25,000 goal.
RIVER NORTH — Staff from Italian restaurant Prosecco aim to raise $10,000 on GoFundMe to help cover lost shifts.
RIVER NORTH — Japanese steakhouse Roka Akorhas set up an employee relief fund supported by gift card purchases — the restaurant will contribute $20 to the fund for every $100 in gift cards sold during the shutdown. Wine is also now available for delivery and takeout, and $20 from each bottle sold will to to the fund as well.
SOUTH LOOP — Rock club Reggie’sis seeking help raising $30,000 on GoFundMe for staff, urging all who’ve had a memorable night at the venue to pitch in. Reggie’s kitchen is closed during the shutdown and isn’t accepting delivery or takeout orders.
STREETERVILLE— Second City Bar, a longtime LGBTQ spot, is seeking help with a $5,000 fundraiser.
STREETERVILLE — The team at new American restaurant Marisol at the Museum of Contemporary Art are using GoFundMe to help raise funds for more than 60 workers during the shutdown. Organizers hope to raise $50,000.
UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — All-day cafe and bottle shopAll Together Now is using a GoFundMe to raise “Social Distance Gratuity” for staff including cooks, servers, and dishwashers during the shutdown.
UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — Staff atEmpty Bottleand Bite Cafe are offering special gifts in exchange for donations to its GoFundMe, including sticker packs, shirts, and — for $10,000 — free shows forever. They hope to raise a total of $30,000.
UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — Neighborhood soccer bar and dive Cleo’saims to raise $10,000 using GoFundMe to support its staff.
UPTOWN — New American bar and restaurant the Reservoir has a GoFundMe set up that aims to raise $15,000.
WICKER PARK— The Robey, the hotel at the intersection of Milwaukee, North, and Damen avenues in Wicker Park, has established a campaign with a $15,000 goal. They are also offering gift cards for donations of $100, $500, and $1,000.
WEST LOOP — Bar, restaurant, and music venueBottom Lounge launched an online tip fund on GoFundMe to assist bartenders, servers, cooks, dishwashers, security, and production staff. Owners aim to raise $10,000.