Friday, March 20, 2020

Hard work, prayer and carry-out

Sisters (from left) Kim, Minah and Tran Dao opened a Northbrook restaurant and coffee bar, Basu, in late February. Kim encouraged her younger sisters to quit their jobs and go into the restaurant business. “It’s very bad timing,” she said.

    Sarah Stegner looked at the deserted dining room of her restaurant at 6 p.m. Monday and said words that perhaps no professional chef has ever uttered before:
     “I was afraid it was going to be too packed.” 
Sarah Stegner, chef at Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook, with husband
and co-owrner Rohit Nambiar. “The plan is to keep cooking,” she said

     She was explaining why, even though she could have held a final, last hurrah dinner at her Prairie Grass Cafe before Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s order to indefinitely close all Illinois restaurants and bars went into effect, “that’s not the right thing to do.”
     She said it twice.
     “That’s not the right thing to do.”
     While a goodbye dinner would have raked in money that she, her partners and staff may desperately need in the weeks and months to come, it would also put those who love her Northbrook restaurant in jeopardy for contracting the virus. That, she was unwilling to do.
     Instead, Prairie Grass, like many restaurants, is offering carry-out. I was there picking up dinner out of a sense of moral duty. Part of what gives Chicago its luster is the bountiful array of unique and delightful restaurants in and around the city, from beloved hot dog stands to world-famous 3-Michelin-star eateries. They have been there for us, framing the joyous moments of our lives — we had our 25th wedding anniversary dinner at Prairie Grass. It seems natural for customers to stand with them now that they need us most.

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  1. It might be interesting to find out if other contagious diseases, such as the common cold and the yearly flu, are reduced because of the Corona Virus precautions. But since not that many people go to the doctor or the hospital for those diseases, we probably won't ever know for sure.


  2. We’re out of town, but I bought an online gift card from our favorite hometown restaurant. Hope to help keep them afloat during this challenging time!

  3. Looking into buying gift cards as a type of interest free loan for a couple of restaurants i want to survive.

  4. This AM I drove down to The Heavenly Biscuit, a popular breakfast destination on the beach in Ft Myers. Normally I would be waiting behind a dozen or two others in line for egg sandwiches and cinnamon rolls. Today I was first in line. People trickled in during my short stay so I hope they stay open and afloat. Support your local businesses in these tough times!


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