From New York to Los Angeles and everywhere in-between, the restaurant industry is struggling for survival in the wake of the pandemic.
Meal kits, gift cards and merchandise are just a few things they’re trying to add a small cushion to their finances, but unless the government steps in with more help, many diners’ favorite spots will not survive the shutdowns.
Jake Gyllenhaal, who was sporting a Russ & Daughters t-shirt when he performed a handstand challenge with Tom Holland near the beginning of the COVID-19 shutdown, is now teaming up to offer the shirt benefiting the Independent Restaurant Coalition.
Jake’s original shirt was designed by Russ & Daughters and tie-dyed by Simon Golby. The shirt sports the blue logo of the iconic 106-year old Manhattan smoked fish shop and it’s tie-dyed, naturally, in salmon pink. It’s available on Russ & Daughters’ website with free shipping courtesy of Goldbelly, the service that delivers hometown specialties around the country. All the proceeds from sales of the shirt will go to the coalition, a grassroots group of chefs and restaurateurs fighting for federal restaurant relief.
Tom Holland then challenged Jake Gyllenhaal to put on a shirt while doing a handstand and he did. pic.twitter.com/kFHNaod74c
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) April 2, 2020
The coalition estimates that one in three restaurants are estimated to close by the end of the year without additional federal relief, and more than one in four unemployed people since the pandemic began have been restaurant workers.
“The impact extends way beyond restaurants,” chef Marcus Samuelsson says in a video supporting the coalition. “Why is our government ignoring it?,” he asks, pointing out that the restaurant industry employs 15 times as many people as the airline industry, which received a substantial bailout.
Russ & Daughters, located on East Houston Street on the Lower East Side since 1920, has served generations of customers with numerous varieties of smoked fish, as well as bagels, cream cheese, caviar and other gourmet grocery items.