All These Chicago Restaurants & Grocers Are Closing For 'A Day Without Immigrants'

By Stephen Gossett in News on Feb 16, 2017 3:55PM

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Ryan McCaskey / Acadia
As part of Thursday's nationwide "Day Without Immigrants" strike, several restaurants and businesses in Chicago have announced that will remain they closed in support of employees' wishes to participate in the strike/boycott.

The most notable closure announcement came from celebrity chef Rick Bayless, who posted on social media on Wednesday that hotspots Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, Xoco and Fonda Frontera would remain unopened on Thursday in support of the action. The demonstration aims to spotlight immigrants' significant role in American life and its economy, and also protest President Donald Trump's proclaimed "crackdown" against undocumented immigrants.

"Cruz Blanca and Leña Brava will remain open Thursday, with 10 percent of gross revenue headed to Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights," Bayless wrote in a statement. He also encouraged people to donate to groups "working to make lasting change," recommending organizations such as American Civil Liberties Union and Immigrant Youth Justice League.

But Bayless was hardly the only one to join the push. Downtown icon The Berghoff said on Thursday morning that both its restaurant and cafe would not open in support of the spot's "family and friends."

Upscale New American favorite Acadia is also participating in the daylong closings. "The subject of immigration remains close to my heart as a Saigon born immigrant who came on a green card to America, and was given an amazing opportunity for not only a good life, but a chance at a great career," chef Ryan McCaskey wrote in his announcement.

Popular Mexican restaurant Rojo Gusano also announced that all locations would be closed on Thursday. "Go out there, make your voices heard. Hate has no place in our home. We hope you'll join us, too," the restaurant wrote in a Facebook post.


Also among the one-day shutters: Logan Square taco king L'Patron. “L’Patron is a family-owned restaurant that supports and celebrates diversity,” wrote the owners in a notice that the restaurant shared on social media. “We believe that America is a country of immigrants, and that we should honor that history.”

Pete's Fresh Market announced that five of its locations would close, countering previous rumors that employees who missed work would be suspended for a week.

"Employees at our open locations who wish to participate in the Day Without Immigrants can do so without any negative consequences," Pete's clarified in a statement. "For employees at our closed stores who still want the option to work, they are welcome to do so at one of our open stores."

Some restaurants and grocers, on the other hand, while choosing not to close, announced that they would nevertheless support employees who decided to strike. Eataly is among them.

A rally against deportations, which has garnered significant momentum online, is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. at Union Park.

This post has been updated.