Piece Brewery and Pizzeria, one of Chicago’s oldest brewpubs, is the latest to cease delivery and takeout operations. Specializing in oblong-shaped, New Haven, Connecticut-style thin crusts, the pizzeria — which counts Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen as an investor — announced its shutdown on Sunday. Operator Bill Jacobs told Eater Chicago that while having employees work together in close quarters in the kitchen was a COVID-19 concern, the bigger worry was about putting workers at risk of infection on their commutes to and from work. Piece had turned off third-party delivery services, relying on its own delivery force. Piece joins elite names like One Off Hospitality Group and Elizabeth Restaurant, all of which reconsidered their plans of operation during the novel coronavirus outbreak. Ownership has set up a GoFundMe for workers.
In other news...
- Chicago restaurants across the city are donating meals to different at-need groups. One restaurant that’s helping is Eat and Run in Auburn Gresham. The fried chicken and fish specialists collaboration with Big Shoulders Fund to donate to-go meals to those in need, according to Mayor Lightfoot’s office.
- Chicago-based McDonald’s reportedly found a stash of unused N95 masks and bought them, according to the Tribune. They plan on donating 1 million of them to health care workers, 750,000 to those in Chicago, and the remainder scattered across the state. N95 respirators are in short supply across the county.
- The National Restaurant Association will hold a webinar on Tuesday for restaurant owners interested the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program. They’ll go over how to complete and submit applications. The program aims to give restaurants owners money so they can pay workers during the pandemic. Registration is required.
- Over the weekend, Jenner Tomaska, the former Next Restaurant chef, auctioned private and in-home dinners on Instagram Live to raise money for first responders in at University of Chicago Hospital in Hyde Park and workers at Virtue — where he’s helped out in the kitchen (he’s friends with Erick Williams, the chef and owner of Eater Chicago’s Best New Restaurant of the Year). Tomaska told Eater Chicago the effort raised a little under $13,000 in under 24 hours. Tomaska adds he wants to continue to help in more creative ways.
- Kuma’s Corner has moved its outdoor music festival that was originally scheduled for June 27. The new date is August 29. The festival features. surprise, metal acts including Anthrax and Converge. The over-the-top burger spot is celebrating its 15th anniversary in Avondale.
- Pretty Cool Ice Cream, the frozen dessert company in Logan Square from Dana Salls Cree and Bang Bang Pies, is collaborating with Pilsen’s Cà Phê Đá, the coffee shop and casual restaurant attached to Danielle and Thai Dang’s HaiSous. They’re using coffee harvested from the Dangs’s family farm in Vietnam in a new popsicle. Proceeds from sales will benefit Greater Chicago Food Depository’s emergency fund. Fans of the cafe’s coffee, which is among the best cups in the city, should be pumped about this.
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Vietnamese Ice Coffee is brazenly bitter and deep before being tamed by rich sweetened condensed milk. We made this pop by blending the deep brew made in Pilsen at @caphedachi with our ice cream. When @thai_dang_ told us about his families farm in Vietnam, where they grow the beans, roast them over fruit wood, then finish the hot beans with knobs of salted French butter, we became entirely enchanted with this specific coffee. We knew we had to add these special beans to the bar directly! We ground them up and folded flecks of the superb beans into the chocolate shell, along with a hint of brown butter. . . . . . .This pop will be available as our Community Support Pop this month and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository for their emergency relief efforts in collecting, sorting, and transporting food to those of our Chicago friends and neighbors isolated with limited access to food.