In the week since the Russian military invaded Ukraine at the direction of President Vladimir Putin, Chicagoans have poured into the streets to protest Europe’s first major war in decades, joining demonstrators around the U.S. and the world to show solidarity with Ukrainians under siege. As locals gather in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood with traditional flower crowns and blue-and-yellow flags, the city’s bar and restaurant industry is organizing fundraising efforts and declaring support for an independent Ukraine.
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Around Town: Bravo Restaurants, which owns Gino’s East, Eduardo’s Enoteca, Gotham Bagels, and Ed Debevic’s, will be donating 50 percent of its total sales between Monday, March 7, and Wednesday, March 9, to four relief organizations: World Central Kitchen, Voices of Children, the International Rescue Committee, and CARE.
Around Town: Virtual bakeries Big Fat Cookie and Masa Madre and Bennison’s Bakery in Evanston are all participating in Hamantashen for Ukraine, a worldwide initiative in which bakers make and sell the triangular filled cookies traditionally eaten on the Jewish holiday of Purim (which starts March 16) and donate the profits to Polish Humanitarian Action, which is helping refugees at the border. Bennison’s is already selling its hamantashen. Big Fat Cookie is taking online orders for pickup at 1030 N. Hooker Street on Friday and Saturday March 4 and 5. Masa Madre’s plans are still in progress.
Around Town: Hogsalt Hospitality, which owns more than a dozen restaurants in Chicago, has partnered with World Central Kitchen to raise $65,000 by Sunday, March 6, via GoFundMe, to cover the cost of 15,000 hot meals. Donors of $500 or more will receive a $500 Hogsalt gift card, according to a Facebook post from Ciccio Mio, the company’s Italian spot.
Avondale: Essential Chicago dive bar Reed’s Local declared on Sunday in a Facebook post that it will no longer sell Russian vodka and plans to donate a portion of sales to a nonprofit for Ukrainian refugees “as long as this illegal war continues.”
Avondale: Wherewithall, the cozy restaurant from James Beard Award-winning chefs and spouses Johnny Clark and Beverly Kim, will next week introduce an entirely Ukrainian menu with a portion of proceeds going to democracy-focused nonprofit Razom for Ukraine. “As a Ukrainian American, one way I can show support for my Ukrainian brothers and sisters during this horrific act of war, is to cook the food that my Babooshka would cook for me,” Clark writes on the restaurant’s social media. “The Russian government would like to erase the Ukrainian culture and identity all together. That’s not going to happen.”
Jefferson Park: European bakery Delightful Pastries is collecting donated medical equipment and other supplies, which its owners will drop off at Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Palos Park. A list of requested items has been posted on Facebook. The bakery is also selling cookies and cupcakes decorated in the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag, it announced on Instagram; 50 percent of the proceeds will go to the Ukrainian Red Cross and World Central Kitchen.
Lincoln Park: KINGS Dining and Entertainment will be hosting a fundraiser in both its Lincoln Park and Rosemont locations on Monday, March 7, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Lincoln Park and 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. in Rosemont. For $50, customers will get a round of bowling (plus shoes), pizza, and unlimited fountain drinks; the proceeds will go to World Central Kitchen, which has been serving meals to refugees at the Polish border.
Portage Park: Magic Jug, a Ukrainian restaurant, will be hosting a charity dinner on Friday, March 11, to raise money for the nonprofit Revived Soldiers of Ukraine and to start a conversation between members of the Ukrainian American community and other Chicagoans. Tickets are $140 and can be purchased online.
Ukrainian Village: Modern Jewish deli Jeff & Judes has two fundraisers running through March, owner Ursula Siker announced on Facebook. All month long, the deli will donate $1 from the sale of each black and white cookie to American nonprofit Sunflower of Peace for medical and humanitarian aid in Ukraine. It’ll also donate $1 from each order of Chex mix to the Transgender Education Network of Texas, an education and advocacy nonprofit that’s among many supporting trans Texans amid a barrage of legislative attacks.
West Town: Liberation Donuts, which specializes in vegan treats, announced on Facebook that it will be donating 50 percent of the March sales of its Total Liberation lemon and poppy seed doughnut to Shelter Ugolyok, an animal rescue and farm shelter in Ukraine.
Wicker Park: Dimo’s Pizza, which also has a location in Wrigleyville, announced on its website that it has added options to its online ordering system so customers can donate to World Central Kitchen; when they do, Dimo’s will match their donation.
Wicker Park: Neighborhood pastificio and cafe Tortello is rolling out yellow and blue farfalle pasta inspired by the Ukrainian flag. Owners and spouses Dario Monni and Jill Gray write on Instagram that 100 percent of proceeds will go to a non-profit recommended by the staff at Saints Volodymyr & Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ukrainian Village.
Downers Grove: Grand Duke’s, a Lithuanian restaurant, has converted its Russian vodka to hand sanitizer, WGN 9 reports, and replaced all its Russian beer with Ukrainian beer, which will be on special throughout the month of March with half the proceeds of sales going to Ukraine.
Evanston: Popular suburban bakery Hewn this week is donating a portion of sales to the International Rescue Committee, a nonprofit that helps people affected by humanitarian crises, according to a Facebook post. As of Sunday, February 27, ownership reports it has already raised more than $1,000.