Several local restaurants Thursday expect to operate at diminished capacity or plan to close entirely in order to accommodate a demonstration by hospitality personnel opposing President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
A planned walk-out by restaurant staff that serve as the lifeblood of establishments ranging from expense-account spots to sandwich shops continues to take shape — in many cases with the blessing of upper management.
Restaurateur José Andrés, who remains embroiled in legal proceedings against Trump sparked by the businessman’s polarizing statements, has already committed to closing Zaytinya, Oyamel and the various Jaleos in the surrounding area for the day.
In support of our people & #ADayWithoutImmigrants Thurs 2/16 we will not open @jaleo DC CC MD, @zaytinya or @oyameldc #ImmigrantsFeedAmerica— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) February 14, 2017
Pizzeria Paradiso founder Ruth Gresser is downsizing as well, electing to preemptively shutter her shops in Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria. A spokeswoman said Gresser plans to spend that day working in the kitchen at her Dupont Circle location as a stopgap measure.
The powers that be at Bar Pilar, Compass Rose, BlackSalt and other restaurants throughout the city shared alternative business strategies with Washingtonian; some were planning Latin American-themed menus while others were internally polling workers to get a better sense of how to proceed on this deeply personal issue.
The one thing many of those involved seem to agree on: business as usual is no longer an option.