Despite President Trump’s threat to strip Chicago of federal funding to end its status as a sanctuary city for refugees, Bistro Campagne in Lincoln Square, Brightwok Kitchen in The Loop and Hopewell Brewing Co. in Logan Square have joined the national Sanctuary Restaurants campaign. The group debuted earlier this month, aided by union groups, with restaurants vowing to “resist hate and harassment” aimed at minorities and immigrant workers and customers in the wake of building election rhetoric, which has transformed currently to proposed policies. Honey Butter Fried Chicken in Avondale was the sole Chicago representative on the original 24-restaurant list that included restaurants across the country.
Bistro Campagne is a French restaurant and GM Todd Feinberg told DNAinfo how important immigrants from all over the world are to America’s restaurants. They want to provide a safe place where harassment isn’t on the menu. Despite fielding calls from angry Trump supporters, Sanctuary Restaurants like Bistro Campagne say they welcome all guests, regardless of their political preferences.
Sovereign, a farm-to-table restaurant featuring beer, in Plainfield has also come onboard. That gives Illinois five members. The campaign has grown to more than 80 restaurants in less than a month.
Some restaurant operators see the campaign as unnecessary, as restaurants should always commit to a harassment-free atmosphere. However, the current political climate has member restaurants feeling that they need to take a stand. Undocumented immigrants, one of the groups the Sanctuary Restaurant campaign is trying to protect, represents a healthy population—in some estimates 20 percent—of America’s restaurant workforce. The proposed legislation could have crippling effects on America’s restaurants, as detailed here.