A growing group of restaurant owners and chefs are vowing to close their restaurants today as part of a campaign called A Day Without Immigrants. The movement started in D.C. with flyers and Facebook posts in Spanish that include the line, "Mr. President, without us and without our contribution this country is paralyzed."
José Andrés, who owns a number of acclaimed restaurants in Downtown D.C. (and is currently entangled in a lawsuit with President Trump) will shutter Jaleo, Oyamel and Zaytinya to support the campaign, Grub Street reports.
He tells NPR: "When you have employees that have been with you almost 25 years, and they come to you in an organized way and they tell you, 'Don't get upset but Thursday we are not coming to work,' [the] next thing you ask is, 'What's going on? What's happening?' So I decided to join them and support them — that's what we're doing."
Elsewhere in D.C. at Bar Pilar, several front-of-house staffers who plan to show up to work have pledged their tips to colleagues participating, and a percentage of proceeds from drinks tomorrow night will go to the American Immigration Council, Washingtonian reports. And, fast-casual salad sensation Sweetgreen will close 18 of its D.C.-area locations.
In New York, Tom Colicchio has said that he will support employees who join the protest.
If members of my team decide to protest I will support their decision. https://t.co/v3mjoU7p85— Tom Colicchio (@tomcolicchio) February 15, 2017
Eric and Bruce Bromberg of Blue Ribbon will close most of their New York restaurants. And, Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli, better known as "The Franks" will close their neighborhood destinations Frankies 457 and Prime Meats. Elsewhere in Brooklyn, the just-opened Madre Mezcaleria is shuttering for the night.
Dough Doughnuts, which is also owned by immigrants, has joined the strike as well.
Not that I needed another reason to love my @doughdoughnuts ✊ ❤#adaywithoutimmigrants #doughnuts #doughdoughnuts #doughbrooklyn #gettoknowdough #eaturban #urbanspace #urbanspacevanderbilt #eeeeeats #food #foodie #nyceats #nyc #newyork #newyorkcity #nbc4NY #undiasininmigrantes #resist #ToImmigrantsWithLove #nobannowall
In Virginia, Pupatella pizza is joining in:
At Relish Café & Bar in Raleigh, the kitchen will remain empty as the restaurant remains open, serving a limited menu prepared by managers.
We will remain open without a kitchen staff tomorrow, February 16 to support our co-workers as they stand up for their rights on #adaywithoutimmigrants We will offer a limited menu for both Lunch and Dinner tomorrow because our managers do not have the food prep skills of our wonderful cooks! We hope to demonstrate what life would be like without the contributions of immigrants to our community. We thank you for your patience and support #immigrantsfeedamerica #solidarity #anationofimmigrants
Farther South, Chai Pani, which owns several restaurants in Georgia and North Carolina, will keep its restaurants open, but donate the day's profits to the ACLU.
Out west, in Telluride, Brown Dog Pizza will shutter.
The movement is continuing to grow.
Shōjō Boston and BLR will be closed on 2/16 in solidarity with all immigrants. #DayWithoutImmigrants— mark (@markmoleary) February 15, 2017
This article was last updated on February 16, 2017 at 8:25 am. We'll continue to update this piece with new information as the story develops.