Chicago 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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— Several Chicagoans are coming up with their lists of restaurants with delivery and takeout options. One of the best was compiled by public relations professional Jenn Galdes and created by Sean Lynch.
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 culinary retail company Stock Mfg. and hospitality group Leisure Activities have teamed up on a t-shirt line to raise money for food and beverage workers affected by COVID-19-related restaurant and bar closures. It’s called Chicago Hospitality United. T-shirts go for $25 each, and customers can donate more if they wish. All proceeds will be split evenly among workers from participating venues, a growing list that includes All Together Now, Birrieria Zaragoza, Elske, Hopewell Brewing, Ludlow Liquors, Mini Mott, Mott St, Passerotto, Pacific Standard Time, Scofflaw, and Young American.
AROUND TOWN — Footman Hospitality group is raising funds for employees at Bangers & Lace, Sparrow, Kite String Cantina, Bucktown Pub, Spilt Milk, and Little Victories on GoFundMe. It aims to raise $50,000.
AROUND TOWN — Heisler Hospitality hopes to raise $50,000 on GoFundMe for staff at Bad Hunter, Estereo, Lone Wolf, Pub Royale, Queen Mary, and Revel Room. If there’s any money left when the venues reopen, owners wrote, they’ll donate it to charity.
AROUND TOWN — 4 Star Restaurant Group has set up a fund for employees at Ella Elli, Crosby’s Kitchen, Remington’s, Smoke Daddy, and Dunlay’s on the Square. It hopes to raise $100,000 to support employees including barbacks, food runners, line cooks, hostesses, bartenders, and servers.
AROUND TOWN — Management at Farmhouse Chicago, Farmhouse Evanston, Farm Bar Lakeview, and Farm Bar Edgewater, is using GoFundMe to try and raise $10,000 to help cover staff wages and health insurance.
AROUND TOWN — Gage Hospitality Group aims to raise $1,000 for each staff member at its five restaurants — the Gage, the Dawson, Coda Di Volpe, Acanto, and Beacon Tavern — on GoFundMe. Especially generous donors ($1,000 and more) can get gift cards and discounts for future use.
AROUND TOWN — Local mini-chain Heritage 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.
AROUND TOWN — Hospitality group Bottleneck Management is working to raise $100,000 on GoFundMe to help support staff. The group give a $500 gift card to those who donate $500 or more.
ALBANY PARK — Neighborhood stand Hot Dog Station set up a fund that aims to raise $7,500.
ANDERSONVILLE — Servers at neighborhood spot A Taste of Heaven are 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.
AVONDALE— Craft beer store and bar Beer Temple has a fund with a $10,000 goal.
AVONDALE — Music venue and bar Live Wire hopes to raise $7,500 for staff during the shutdown on GoFundMe.
AVONDALE — Late Bar, the 4 a.m. bar with a heart, has set up a fund with a $10,000 goal.
BOYSTOWN— Modern Grill, the diner at the corner of Belmont and Halsted in Boystown, has a fund with a $20,000 goal.
BUCKTOWN— Everyone’s creaky neighborhood tavern with a ton of soul, Danny’s Tavern, has a fund with a $25,000 goal.
BUCKTOWN — Green Eye Lounge owners are using GoFundMe to raise $3,000 for door staff and bartenders during the closure.
BUCKTOWN — Classic Bucktown dive bar Lemmings has a fund with a $3,000 goal.
BUCKTOWN — Neighborhood tavern Floyd’s Pub aims to raise $5,000 for staff on GoFundMe.
CHINATOWN — Asian street food and bubble tea spot Chi Yatai aims to raise $15,000 on GoFundMe to help support its staff.
DEPAUL— Arrogant Frog, the neighborhood tavern near DePaul University, has established a fund with a goal of $6,000.
HYDE PARK — Pizza Capri, which has served deep-dish and California-stye gourmet pies for years, has a GoFundMe with a $15,000 goal.
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 — 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 Plumbing has 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.
LAKEVIEW — Martyr’s, the performance space and bar, has a fund with a $5,000 goal.
LAKEVIEW — LGBTQ-friendly bar and performance venue Shaker’s on Clark is working to raise $4,000 for employees on GoFundMe.
LINCOLN PARK— Sandra Holl’s dazzling bakery cafe, Floriole, has a fund with a $30,000 goal.
LINCOLN PARK — Neighborhood bar Broken Barrel is using GoFundMe to raise money for staff during the shutdown. The goal amount is $15,000.
LINCOLN PARK — Live music venue and dive Tonic Room is using GoFundMe to raise money for its staff with a goal of $15,000. Ownership wrote they plan to keep the bar closed through May 29.
LINCOLN PARK — Neighborhood sports bar and grill Lincoln Station hopes to raise $10,000 for staff on GoFundMe during the closure.
LINCOLN PARK — LEYE’s game-changing Spanish restaurant Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba is selling sweatshirts, t-shirts, and totes, with all proceeds going toward financial relief for hourly employees. There’s also a GoFundMe with a $50,000 goal.
LINCOLN SQUARE— Huttenbar, the German beer bar in the heart of Lincoln Square has set up a fund with a $6,000 goal.
LINCOLN SQUARE— Jerry’s Sandwiches, the craft beer-centric restaurant with a reverence for the Grateful Dead, has an online fund with a $2,000 goal.
LOGAN SQUARE — Staff at drinking spot and music venue Cole’s Bar aim to raise $10,000 on GoFundMe for employees affected by the shutdown.
LOGAN SQUARE — All-day restaurant Reno is 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 spot Dante’s hopes to raise $10,000 on GoFundMe to help cooks, bartenders, and servers mitigate the closure’s financial strain.
LOGAN SQUARE — Neighborhood bar Burlington aims to raise $5,000 on GoFundMe to help staff navigate the mandated closure.
THE LOOP — Downtown bar and restaurant Franklin Tap is asking for help to raise $10,000 for staff on GoFundMe.
THE LOOP — Downtown tavern Stocks & Blondes aims to raise $10,000 on GoFundMe that will go directly to staff.
THE LOOP — 2Twenty2 Tavern has been open for about two years in the Loop. They’ve established a fund with a $3,000 goal.
THE LOOP — Irish bar O’Callaghan’s Pub created a GoFundMe with a $10,000 goal.
NORTH CENTER — Neighborhood bar Cork Lounge created a fund with a $5,500 goal.
NORTH CENTER — O’Donovan’s, an Irish pub that’s been around for years, has set up a fund with a $5,000 goal.
OLD IRVING PARK — Lizard’s Liquid Lounge, a dive with a dance floor, has a fund with a $4,000 goal.
OLD TOWN — Barbecue rib specialist Twin Anchors is using GoFundMe to raise money for employees including bartenders, servers, and bussers during the mandated closure. Organizers hope to raise $10,000.
OLD TOWN — Second City, the legendary comedy club on Wells Street, has set up a fund for servers, hosts, bartenders, food runners, and dishwashers.
PILSEN — Owners of Dusek’s and Thalia Hall are 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 — Mom’s Place, a bar and music venue in River North, has set up a fund with a $25,000 goal.
RIVER NORTH — Japanese steakhouse Roka Akor has 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.
ROGERS PARK— Pub 626, a bar and grill in Rogers Park, has set up a fund with a $10,000 goal.
SOUTH LOOP — Rock club Reggie’s is 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— Lizzie McNeil’s Irish Pub has set up a fund with a $10,000 goal.
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 — Staff at Empty Bottle and 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.
UNIVERSITY VILLAGE/SOUTH LOOP— Bureau Bar and Sage Room are both closed and have set up a fund for both venues with a $30,000 goal.
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.
WICKER PARK — Nearly 18-year-old lunch and brunch spot Milk & Honey Cafe set up a GoFundMe for staff with a $15,000 goal.
WEST LOOP — Bar, restaurant, and music venue Bottom Lounge launched an online tip fund on GoFundMe to assist bartenders, servers, cooks, dishwashers, security, and production staff. Owners aim to raise $10,000.
WEST TOWN— Rhine Hall, the West Town distiller, has set up a fund to help make hand sanitizer, a product that’s in need for health care providers. They have a $10,000 goal.
WEST TOWN — Watering hole High Dive is asking for help raising $10,000 on GoFundMe to support employees.
WEST TOWN — Cocktail lounge Damen Tavern is working to raise $5,000 for staff on GoFundMe.
WEST TOWN — German and Southern neighborhood restaurant Funkenhausen is offering beer boots, t-shirts, gift cards, and more in exchange for donations to its GoFundMe for staff members. The fund has a $15,000 goal.
WEST LOOP — Jefferson Tap set up a fund for employees with a $10,000 goal.
WICKER PARK — Division Street mainstay, Mac’s Wood Grilled, has a $10,000 goal for its workers.
WICKER PARK — Late-night bar Flat Iron set up a fund that aims to raise $3,000 for staff who depend entirely on the venue for income.
WICKER PARK/LAKEVIEW/LOGAN SQUARE — Patrons can purchase gift cards and merch online to support local venues from Four Entertainment Group including Easy Bar, AliveOne, Estelle’s, the Owl, and Remedy.
WRIGLEYVILLE— Craft beer and smoked meats bar Sheffield’s has a fund with a $37,000 goal.
WRIGLEYVILLE — Uncommon Ground has also set up employee fund for workers at their Clark Street location with a $15,000 goal.
WRIGLEYVILLE — Yaz-Kies is waiting for some baseball. Until then, customers can support the sports bar and grill.
EVANSTON — Suburban neighborhood restaurant Firehouse Grill set up a fund for employees who are furloughed while dine-in service is closed. It has a $10,000 goal.
EVANSTON— Viet Nom Nom in Evanston has set up a fund with a $20,000 goal.
ORLAND PARK — Indie suburban spot Blissful Banana Cafe is asking for help raising $50,000 on GoFundMe for staff during the shutdown.