Chicago restaurants continue to help health care workers who are treating COVID-19 victims on the frontlines. An on Tuesday, a few famous sponsors stepped up. Actress Kerry Washington and some of fellow cast members from ABC’s Scandal together donated 100 meals that were delivered Tuesday to Roseland Community Hospital on the city’s South Side.
After the novel coronavirus infected a food service worker at the hospital, Roseland shut down its kitchen operations. That left Roseland, a safety-net facility that cares for vulnerable patients, without food service. For the past few weeks, they’ve solicited donations from local restaurants for employee meals. This time around, Maya-Camille Broussard came through. She’s the chef and owner of Justice of the Pies, a bakery that serves farmers markets with a location on the Chicago Riverwalk.
Broussard partnered with Frontline Foods which has partnered with restaurants across the country to deliver meals to hospitals. On Tuesday, Frontline also delivered 300 meals to Harlem Hospital Center in New York (Washington’s hometown), and at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan. Scandal actor Jeff Perry is a suburban Chicago native, growing up in Highland Park. He posted an Instagram video of Broussard thanking Washington and the cast. Actress Bellamy Young also made a post.
Scandal, which concluded in 2018, was created by Chicago native and noted deep-dish pizza fan Shonda Rhimes. The prolific producer is responsible for several TV shows including Gray’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and How to Get Away With Murder. Perhaps Tuesday’s effort will inspire actors from other Shondaland shows to engage in a little friendly competition with the Scandal crew to see which cast could bring in more donations.
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My hometown ❤️. Reunited with my amazing #ScandalFam tonight to support @frontlinefoods in delivering dinner for our healthcare heroes in Chicago, Harlem, and Flint. Huge thanks to @frontlinefoods for feeding our healthcare workers & supporting local restaurants in need during this crisis. #love #supporteachother #gladiators
And in other news...
- A downstate lawmaker doesn’t want Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order to extend through May. State Rep. Darren Bailey — a Republican that has Chicagoans quickly Googling Clay County and Xenia (the town of about 400 that he represents) — filed a lawsuit seeking to block the extension that goes into effect from May 1 to May 30. The order keeps dine-in restaurants and bars closed for the duration. This upcoming version of stay at home not only allows essential business (hospitals, liquor stores, grocery stores) to stay open, but it would also allow retail stores to be open for curbside pickup. A judge ruled in favor of Bailey on Monday (the judge’s decision only affects Bailey). Pritzker dismissed the ruling as a “cheap political stunt.”
- Movie theaters have stayed closed since stay at home started on March 21. But for those who miss movie popcorn, Logan Theatre has a creative promotion. Logan quickly sold out of its curbside snack pack. For $10, customers could preorder two giant popcorn bags and a box of candy: “Watching movies at home is no fun without movie theater popcorn, so we’re bringing it back to you, social-distancing style.” It’s just another example of business owners being creative during the pandemic.
- Kate Merill, the owner of Edge of Sweetness bakery in Edgewater, has returned to her job as an ICU nurse at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Douglas Park, reports Block Club Chicago. She had spent 22 years in health care. The bakery’s temporary closure gives her time to come back. Like many health care providers, Merill felt a responsibility to treat patients during the public health crisis.
- Jesse Iñiguez, co-owner of Back of the Yards Coffee, writes an op-ed in South Side Weekly about the challenges he’s faced in securing coronavirus relief funds from the government. He discusses the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), and how small businesses lack lobbyists and the attention of bigger banks.
- Union officials representing hourly dining & service workers working on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston are holding a virtual rally on Thursday. They say they haven’t received benefits and compensation they were promised. They were laid-off in March, as the pandemic cancelled classes at the school. Northwestern works with Compass Group, a food service company that works with schools and hospitals. Compass works with humanitarian chef José Andrés in downtown Chicago with Andrés’s Beefsteak restaurant. The workers are represented by UNITE HERE Local 1.
- The pandemic has placed dozens of restaurant projects in jeopardy. Whenever stay at home is lifted, Roots Handmade Pizza’s upcoming location in South Loop doesn’t look far behind. Inspections are planned for mid-June for the 10,000-square-foot space with a second-floor patio with a retractable roof. Fifty/50 Restaurant Group is also hiring for the new pizzeria at 776 S. Dearborn Street. This would be Roots’s fourth location.