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Chinatown Restaurant Crawl Aims to Combat Coronavirus Paranoia

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Plus, a Wrigleyville bar is raising money for a security guard injured in a shooting last week

A big red gate that leads into Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood.
Business is slow in Chicago’s Chinatown.
Google Streetview

Chinatown restaurant crawl planned for Monday to help businesses

Efforts to support restaurants in Chinatown are building after local business owners reported a significant drop in sales, apparently in large part due to diners’s erroneous fear of catching the coronavirus that’s centered in China’s Hubei province. Some members of Chicago’s food industry are rallying around the neighborhood with an open-invite food crawl Monday at 7 p.m. that’s designed to “support the community and show solidarity,” organizers wrote in a Facebook event. News of the virus’s spread has rapidly tapped into xenophobic stereotypes associated with Chinese food and people in the U.S., such as the troubling myth-making regarding ingredients like MSG. The winter months are typically slow for Chicago restaurants. But businesses in Chinatown are also struggling due to a double homicide on February 9 on the 2000 block of South Wells Street, according to a statement from the Chicago-based American Chinese Restaurant Institute.

Wrigleyville bar raises money for security guard hurt in Lakeview shooting

Wrigleyville bar Country Club is raising money for beloved security guard Robert “Big Rob” Glover after he was shot and badly hurt in Lakeview last week, according to a rep. The bar will host an all-day fundraiser on Sunday with proceeds from all sales and tips going directly to Glover for medical expenses. Country Club also created a GoFundMe for Glover, which has thus far raised more than $8,000. He remains hospitalized after being shot six times while exiting late-night lounge Tai’s, allegedly by a man later shot and killed in a standoff with Chicago police, according to ABC Chicago and multiple media reports.

“Big Rob” Glover of Country Club.
Country Club [Official Photo]

Taco titan Carnitas Uruapan collaborates in the suburbs for charity

Fast-casual Mexican street food mini-chain Invicto will feature collaborative dish created with Eater 38 restaurant Carnitas Uruapan for one weekend only on Friday through Sunday in suburban Naperville and Vernon Hills, according to a rep. Invicto diners can try the Tacos Dorados de Carnitas plate — corn tortillas filled with Carnitas Uruapan’s adored carnitas with crema and “mixed garnishes.” It’ll also offer Uruapan’s chicharrones with Invicto guacamole. The mini-chain will donate five school meals to hungry children for each plate sold through its One Feeds Two program.

West Town breakfast spot to reopen Sunday after cars crash through

West Town restaurant Breakfast House will reopen Sunday, just over a week after a Nissan smashed through its windows after a two-car crash at the bustling intersection of Grand Avenue and Wood Street, Block Club Chicago reported. The five-year-old restaurant at 1800 W. Grand Avenue was serving around 30 to 40 customers at the time, but no diners were injured. The Nissan’s driver was transported to AMITA Health Saints Mary and Elizabeth Hospital. Owner Jamie Jara (Ina’s) expects insurance will cover the $10,000 cost of replacing the windows.

NBA All Star Weekend lures celebs to Chicago restaurants

Celebrities have a way of turning up in Chicago for the NBA All-Star Weekend, and this past weekend’s festivities brought in a slew of famous faces. President Barack Obama dined with a group at RPM Steak and had a “friendly” chat with Chicago native Patrick Beverely of the Los Angeles Clippers on Valentine’s Day, as did rappers 50 Cent and Ludacris (separately) the next evening, according to a rep. Other notable appearances include the Portland Trail Blazers’s Carmelo Anthony (RPM Seafood) and DJ Khaled (RPM Italian).

President Barack Obama poses with two employees in white jackets.
Obama dined at celeb-friendly RPM Steak on Valentine’s Day.
RPM Steak [Official Photo]

Coffee and beer festival Uppers & Downers returns Sunday in Pilsen

And finally, traveling coffee and beer festival Uppers & Downers will return for its sixth year running on Sunday at Pilsen’s Thalia Hall. It’ll feature dozens of beers and experimental coffee beers made exclusively for the festival, as well as coffee and cold brew cocktails, “unique sensory experiences,” and more. Tickets ($65) are available online, and cover all samples and snacks.

Thalia Hall

1807 South Allport Street, , IL 60608 (312) 526-3851 Visit Website

RPM Steak

66 West Kinzie Street, , IL 60654 (312) 284-4990 Visit Website


1132 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60642 (312) 624-8363 Visit Website

Breakfast House

1800 West Grand Avenue, , IL 60622 (312) 997-2400 Visit Website

Country Club

3462 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657 (773) 975-2010 Visit Website


953 West Fulton Market, , IL 60607 Visit Website

RPM Seafood

317 North Clark Street, , IL 60654 (312) 900-9035 Visit Website


3335 North Halsted Street, , IL 60657 (773) 935-9663 Visit Website

Carnitas Uruapan

1725 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608 (312) 226-2654 Visit Website


4835 North Western Avenue, , IL 60625 Visit Website

RPM Italian

52 West Illinois Street, , IL 60654 (312) 222-1888 Visit Website