Ripped by COVID-19, Chicago’s restaurant scene looks after its own

Coronavirus
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CHICAGO — The city’s vibrant restaurant scene has been ripped up by COVID-19.

Thousands of service industry employees are out of work as restaurants have their dining rooms shuttered. 

Despite the tough times, people are still helping out their own.

Chef Paul Kahan, from Big Star in Wicker Park, is one of many leading the charge to lift those up at this time. 

His goal? Help upwards of 300 people a day at Big Star.

To achieve it, Kahan and others are giving away groceries and food to service industry employees through the Lee Initiative.

“It’s a great opportunity to keep a bunch of our team at work and earning a paycheck which is, as you know, a difficult thing to serve up right now,” Kahan said.

Chef Kahan hopes to keep the program going as long as the quarantine lasts.

“I know all of those workers, they really want to get back to work, it’s just killing them and it’s killing me,” Kahan said. “We just hope that everyone plays by the rules. This is a serious pandemic and hopefully if we do things right it’ll end sooner than later.”

To donate to the cause, click here.

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