Restaurants All Over The U.S. Closed Their Doors Today For ‘Day Without Immigrants’

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Today, Feb 16, immigrants in D.C. and throughout the nation will protest Donald Trump’s immigration policies with a coordinated strike. Fueled by a word-of-mouth campaign, immigrants will take off work, abstain from school, and refrain from shopping. Instead, they’ll march through D.C. to remind the new regime that immigrants aren’t just important, they’re crucial for the continued health of this nation.

On TuesdayThe Washingtonian reported that some eateries would be limiting their hours or closing up shop completely to show solidarity with anyone leaving work to protest. Several restaurant owners made it clear that if customers were upset, they would have to understand that this is what happens when the immigrant population is threatened by the government. D.C. (and the rest of the country) can’t run without immigrants and the protest hopes to show that. While some restaurant operators say that they’ll be unaffected, others have decided to stand with their employees in solidarity.

On Wednesday, Many D.C. restaurants announced an intent to close in advance — including BusBoys and Poets (which recently grabbed headlines when a Trump supporter tipped his African-American waitress hundreds of dollars in a show of unity). All of famed chef Jose Andres’ DC-area restaurants will be closing — Zaytinya, Oyamel in the city, and all locations of Jaleo, including those in Maryland and Virginia.

“Immigrants feed America,” Andres tweeted.

Andres’ choice to close his restaurant and stand in solidarity is especially poignant, considering the fact the he was once slated to open a restaurant in Trump Hotel in D.C. Instead, after Trump referred to Mexicans as rapists while campaigning, Andres pulled out of the deal. He appeared on Anderson Cooper yesterday to discuss the $10 million dollar suit that Trump hit him with when he chose to cut ties as well as the $8 million countersuit Andres brought against the Trump in retaliation.

In his suit, Andres, who is an immigrant himself, stated that he believes that all humans deserve respect, regardless of their immigration status.

From Eater:

Andrés tells Cooper the litigation took him by surprise, noting that Trump called him in June 2015 in an attempt to assuage his worries: “He said, ‘Jose we’re winning,’” the chef recounted. Andrés, who campaigned for Hillary Clinton, replied: “Mr. Trump, I’m not running on your ticket. I only want to run a successful restaurant and you’re making it really difficult.”

“I did what I had to do,” Andres said when asked about why he pulled out. And he’s doing it again by standing firm with his immigrant workers.

Other restaurants will remain open but with limited menus. At some locations, only the owners will be available to serve hungry customers, The Washingtonian reports.

D.C. won’t be the only place affected: Popular restaurants in Minneapolis will also close on Thursday, as will eateries and suppliers in Austin, Texas. Austin’s mayor, Steve Adler, has already issued his support. “This is a country of immigrants and a city of immigrants, and I love it when we stick up for each other here,” he said. Major restaurants in Phildalphia and New York will follow suit.

Tom Colicchio, who’s known for both his restaurants and his work on Top Chef, won’t close his restaurants but has tweeted his support, stating that any worker who wants to strike has his full backing:

Statements like that will surely have a big effect on potential strikers — because they’ll do so knowing that their jobs are safe.

Below is a list of the restaurants slated to be closed for the strike:

Washington D.C.

Bad Saint
Bangkok Golden
Blue 44
Brookland’s Finest
Busboys and Poets – All
Bub & Pop’s
Clare and Don’s Beach Shack
DC Empanadas (Union Market and food trucks)
El Sol
Hank’s Cocktail Bar
Hank’s Oyster Bar (all locations)
Hank’s Pasta Bar
Himitsu
Jaleo – All
Jetties (all locations except 1921 I St., NW)
La Caprice
Maso
Mezcalero
Oyamel
Peacock Cafe
Pizzeria Paradiso – Georgetown
Pizzeria Paradiso – Old Town Alexandria
Pupatella
Purple Patch
Surfside
Rappahannock Oyster Bar – All

Thip Khao
Toli Moli
Toki Underground
Veloce
Zaytinya

Austin, Texas

Beto’s Mexican Restaurant, 3518 E. Seventh St.
Casita Nicole Antojitos Mexicanos
El Borrego de Oro
Hay Elotes
Kyoten Sushiko
La Mexicana
La Placita
Las Delicias
Mi Cocina
Mi Tradicion
Regia Bakery
Rinconcito ChapinSweet Sweet Co.
El Secreto de la Abuela
Super Moreliana
Sweet Sweet Co.
Taqueria los Jaliscienses
Taqueria Arandina
Taco More North
Tacos Lylys
Taqueria Adelitas
Taqueria Arandinas

Taqueria los Jaliscienses
Takoba
TWC reports
 that El Milagro Torillas, a tortilla and chip supplier will also shut its doors in solidarity.

Twin Cities, MN

Boca Chica
Mesa Pizza (three locations)
El Burrito Mercado
El Nuevo Rodeo
La Guadalupana
La Loma
Mercado Central

New York City

Blue Ribbon Brasserie
Brooklyn, Sushi
Sushi Bar & Grill
Sushi Izakaya
Hi-Bar
Downing Street Bar

Philadelphia

El Compadre
Sampan (closed for lunch)
Double Knot (closed for lunch)
Harp & Crown (closed for lunch)

 

By Mark Shrayber

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