Restaurants Join International Women's Day

Town halls, benefits and a few strikes are taking place today

Today, in honor of International Women's Day, women across the country are wearing red and joining the Day Without a Woman strike. Schools near Washington, in North Carolina and elsewhere have closed after a large percentage of teachers announced that they plan to join the strike. But the protest hasn't resonated with the restaurant industry in quite the same way—or in the way that A Day Without Immigrants, which brought temporary shutters to restaurants across the country, did a few weeks ago.

Instead, many restaurants owned or run by women are staying open, welcoming diners who want to support them. Chefs, like Anita Lo, are hosting fundraisers at their restaurants to benefit organizations that support women and girls:

In Washington, D.C., owner Ruth Gresser will keep her spots, Pizzeria Paradiso and Veloce, open but has rearranged shifts and set up a partial menu so that her female staff could strike, Washingtonian reports. Casellula in NYC will also stay open, but guest servers, like Broadway actor Matthew Scott, will stand in for female members of the staff joining the strike. All of the tips for the guest servers will go to nonprofit Shining Hope for Communities, which links schools for girls to community service. Mini chain Farm Burger will donate a portion of its profits today to the James Beard Foundation Women in Culinary Leadership Program.

Others like Josh Lewin and Katrina Jazayeri of Juliet near Boston are using their restaurants to provide women with a space to gather and organize. Coffee is free with a suggested donation to Planned Parenthood between noon and 2 p.m., and Jazayeri will host a salon about issues facing women in the industry, the team says in their newsletter. In Evanston, Illinois, female business owners including Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and Amy Morton, who owns The Barn, are meeting at Found Kitchen and Social House for a town hall of sorts.

Know of a restaurant participating in the strike or honoring International Women's Day? Tweet at @TastingTable and @devraferst.