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Le Caprice, Pizzeria Paradiso, Boundary Stone and others also closing or closing Kitchens Thursday for “A Day Without Immigrants”

by Prince Of Petworth February 15, 2017 at 12:50 pm 27 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Miki J.

Hearing from more spots following Meridian Pint, Brookland Pint, Smoke & Barrel’s solidarity with immigrant staff.

From Le Caprice in Columbia Heights:

“As a business owned and almost entirely staffed by immigrants, we polled the staff, and they collectively decided to join the strike tomorrow.”

From Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown and Old Town:

“Ruth Gresser has decided to close the Old Town Alexandria and Georgetown locations of Pizzeria Paradiso. She personally plans on working in the kitchen on Thursday so they can open the Dupont Circle location.”

From Boundary Stone in Bloomingdale:

“Our kitchen will be closed this Thursday in solidarity with our staff for the #DayWithoutImmigrants protest and owners Colin McDonough and Gareth Croke will be manning the kitchen from 5pm to 9pm offering a limited menu.

The bar will open at 4pm.

I will update this list as I get more emails from restaurants.

Brookland’s Finest will also be closed.

Veloce, Pizzeria Paradiso’s fast casual spot on L Street will also be closed.

Busboys and Poets will be closed.

Justin’s Cafe (Navy Yard) “We are a small business dependent on immigrant labor. We stand with our employees, distributors, and friends and have chosen to close our kitchen tomorrow, Thursday, February 16. The bar will be open regular business hours, and you are more than welcome to bring your own food.”


“We at Rappahannock Oyster Bar thrive on a platform of inclusivity, hard work, respect and love. We are part of an industry that exists to provide a welcoming atmosphere and genuine hospitality – an industry that is also filled with talented and devoted immigrants without whom we could not operate on a daily basis. They are the backbone of our businesses, and our beloved nation.Tomorrow, February 16, Rappahannock Oyster Bar will join with restaurants across the country and close for the day to stand in solidarity with our indispensable staff. We all must stand together and fight for what is right, tomorrow and every day.”

300 Florida Ave NW | anxodc.com

ANXO will be open for bar service with a limited food menu of pintxos only. 10% of the night’s sales will go to Ayuda.

“ANXO stands with our immigrant staff, friends, and community in fighting for the rights of every individual, no matter their country of origin. Our staff comes from El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Spain. Without them we cannot run this restaurant. For this reason, on Thursday, 2/16, ANXO will open with a limited food menu of pintxos only. Our staff has the right to protest, and we enthusiastically support them.”

– Rachel Fitz, Co-Owner of ANXO

1330 5th Street NE | cottonandreed.com

Cotton & Reed doesn’t have a kitchen, but will also be donating 10% of the night’s sales to Ayuda. In addition, anyone supporting the strike can join us at the bar for a free shot at 8:00 p.m. and again at 11:00 p.m.

828 Upshur Street NW | himitsudc.com

Himitsu will be closed on Thursday. From Beverage Director and Co-Owner Carlie Steiner:

“Our entire kitchen staff would not be here if their parents and grandparents didn’t immigrate to America. The dining industry would not exist without immigrants. Period.”

3242 11th Street NW | room11dc.com

Room 11’s kitchen will be closed. The bar will stay open, and a portion of drink sales will be donated to Ayuda.

809 Uphsur Street NW | timberpizza.com

Timber employees have chosen to keep the restaurant open on Thursday. 10% of sales will be donated to Ayuda.

1309 5th Street NE (inside Union Market) | tolimolidc.com

Toli Moli will be closed on Thursday. From Co-Founder/CEO Simone Jacobson:

“There would be no Toli Moli without immigrants. Both Chef JoJo and our partner, Eric Wang, are immigrants. The majority of our staff are either immigrants or first generation Americans. We are in the business of sweetening snack time, and there is nothing sweeter than a legacy that honors our diverse families and ancestors.”

All Jetties (except Eye St. location) and both Surfside also closed.

TaKorean (multiple locations) will be closed.

Fast Gourmet (14th and W St, NW) will be closed.

Vida Fitness:

“Immigrant workers make up an indispensable part of our VIDA community and the backbone of many of our daily operations. We support our employees participation in the nationwide Day Without Immigrants movement tomorrow and as a result we have modified our operations wherever necessary. We will work to minimize disruption to our members, but recognize that any interruption in service tomorrow is a testament to the essential service they bring to our team.

Tomorrow we honor an immigrant community that feels threatened, marginalized and scapegoated. We will work together until A Day Without Immigrants is no longer needed.”

DAIKAYA (Ramen Shop & Izakaya)
705 6th Street NW

In support of the staff and ‘A Day Without Immigrants’, Daikaya has decided to close its ramen shop and izakaya for lunch and dinner service on Thursday, February 16th, 2017. Daikaya will reopen for business on Friday, February 17th observing regular business hours.

Mindful Restaurants Group will be closing all of its restaurants tomorrow – Thursday, February 16th – including Acqua al 2, Harold Black, Denson Liquor Bar, Ghibellina, Sotto, Ari’s Diner, La Puerta Verde, and Dock FC – in support of their staff and ‘A Day Without Immigrants’. Without immigrants there are no restaurants. Mindful Restaurants will reopen on Friday, February 17th observing regular business hours.

All 18 DC Area Sweetgreen locations will be closed.

Nanny O’Briens (Cleveland Park) Kitchen will be closed.

Bistro Bohem: “closed today for lunch and I (owner Daniel Sidzina) will be in the kitchen cooking limited menu for dinner (full bar is available).”

Sauf Haus: “We will be paying our team members who have decided to protest full wages for their hours that would have been worked, as well as matching tipped employees gratuities. All gratuities will be donated to AYUDA. We proudly stand in solidarity with the immigrant workforce in D.C., and acknowledge that we would be nowhere without their contributions.”

“Lost hospitality group will be closing the following locations:

1337 Connecticut Ave NW

Lost Society
2001 14th st NW

Proud to stand with our Staff in solidarity”

Crisp Kitchen + Bar: “After discussing with my entire staff they would like to stay open so we are donating 10% of our Sales tonight to the Kids in Need Defense Fund at https://supportkind.org/”

  • Cam

    Jose Andres is apparently closing his restaurants as well.

  • MadMax

    Unless they are actually paying their staff for the time off this almost universally seems to hurt those striking more than the business or customers. I can honestly live a day without pizza, but I’m sure there are plenty out there who will suffer greatly for a day without a paycheck. Hopefully these restaurants looking for a PR boost are putting their money where their mouth is and really supporting the workers to take time off.

    • HaileUnlikely

      According to the Post article, Boundary Stone is going to pay the workers; others did not say.

    • wdc

      The benefit of a locally-owned business is that the owners can and do actually discuss a move like this with their staff. Some places are staying open but with a limited menu. Some are closing altogether. Some are carrying on as usual. This reflects the varying will of the employees.
      I guarantee you that no owner is going to forego a day’s income just for “a PR boost”. They’re doing it because they respect their employees, or at least want to retain their employees because these jobs are hard to fill and harder to keep filled, and are willing to take that hit.

      • thank you for answering that wdc

      • rss

        correct. my partner is one of the owners of a restaurant that is shutting down tomorrow and it was because his staff wanted it that way. he was very concerned about other non-immigrant front of the house staff who may not have otherwise participated in the protest but would still be losing a day of pay. (and unfortunately margins in the restaurant business can be extremely tight so that it isn’t possible to pay everyone when the business is closed.) but basically they came to a consensus as a group (that is, front of the house, back of the house, management, and owners) and decided the best thing to do was to close.

      • DCbyDay

        couldn’t agree more wdc. the collection of restaurants here seem to have come to a really thoughtful consensus with all of their staff. closing for a day isn’t easy on any restaurant or individual financially — but has the potential to make a large impact and powerful statement.

      • MadMax

        That’s all nice, but doesn’t really address the issue. These workers are giving up a full days wages if the restaurant does not “support” them by paying them. If they’re just “supporting” them by saying “if you miss work today you’ll still have a job tomorrow” I guess that’s technically something, but what does it say about that restaurant if their employees aren’t allowed to miss a single day of work without being replaced to begin with? It certainly seems far from a praiseworthy standard, compared to say giving them some sort of leave program where they don’t fear taking a day off here and there. For those operating a “limited kitchen”…uhhh, ok…so it takes me 15 minutes to get my food rather than 10 because some people aren’t there? I just don’t see it driving a message home to those folks who really need to GET the message. I’m completely sympathetic to the workers, I just don’t see these announcements as particularly helpful, aside from those who are actually backing it up with money to the cause (like the example of Cotton & Reed, Room 11, and others above).

        • Anonymous

          Seems to me that the message of the protest would be easier to dismiss if the workers who stay home that day did so knowing that they were going to get paid anyway. It’s not hard to imagine Friday op-eds in which the size of the protest is dismissed because the protesters were effectively paid to protest – or at least made no sacrifice at all to get their message across. Why not protest if you are getting paid for it?
          Maybe a solution would be for the workers to get paid but donate that day’s salaries to an immigrant advocacy group.

          • DSB

            +1000 this!

    • Anonymous

      If the workers have decided on their own to take the day off in protest, why are the restaurants obligated to pay the employees for protesting as a sign of “support” for them? I could see your argument if the owners decided to make a point about immigration by closing their restaurants for the day, forcing the staff to do without pay in order to facilitate the owners expressing a particular point of view. But all of the announcements I have seen describe owners responding to requests from their employees to take the day off as a form of protest. I think the owners are “supporting” this effort enough by keeping the jobs open for the employees to come back to. It says something about the depth of the workers’ feelings on this issue that they are willing to lose a day’s pay to make their point.

    • I don’t know if this would be even workable, but I would love to support those workers who are taking the day off (whether the restaurant is closed or not) via a gofundme or other vehicle.

    • Michael Pierce

      If striking was easy and painless, everybody would be doing it.

      • rss


    • DSB

      Rants the guy on a soapbox with no skin in the game. What about the restaurant owners that sat down with their staffs and consulted with them about how they wanted to proceed? Most of the people striking in the restaurant I work in said they were doing this on principal. Isn’t some of that principal reduced if it just becomes a paid day off? What about the rest of the employees who are also affected by their kitchens being closed? Do you think that many non-immigrant employees are glad they are being given a Thursday off? They aren’t stoked but they aren’t bitching either. In 20 plus years in the hospitality Industry I have NEVER met an operator who is willing to shut down on a Thursday and lose that revenue stream. Just a few things that you may want to think about before you start painting all of the restaurateurs in town closing with your BS “PR boost” brush.

      • MadMax

        I certainly never painted all the restaurants in town who are closing with a “PR boost brush”, however those that are closing for that purpose do deserve some scrutiny. I’m sure many, if not most, believe that their intentions are well founded in support of their workers. I personally just feel like there are better ways to support those workers than saying you’re closing your kitchen (as if you had much of a choice if your workers are on strike anyway).

        • DSB

          No, just painted anyone who said they were closing with it. How do you expect to the restaurants to get this information to their guests? My restaurant, as I am sure many others did, absolutely had a choice. Everyone on our schedule tomorrow indicated that they wished to participate in this strike. After a long conversation ownership, management, and staff that wished to strike agreed that it would disrespect their intentions if all we were going to do was fill the positions with scabs. Our employees came to a decision together not to put any food out as a way to stand up and support our co-workers, managers, and friends. We could have very easily switched around the schedule or pulled out a grill and sold hot dogs, wings and burgers all damn day. It wouldn’t have been as easy to look half of our team in the eyes the next day though.

          • MadMax

            I can see how you might have read my statement as such, but that’s not at all what I was intending to imply. I was referring specifically to the ones who are doing it without some real support to their staff, not meaning literally all the ones on this list here on PoPville.

          • Garrett

            I kind of share this sentiment. I’ve agreed to come in on my day off to help cook and run food, as we are giving our kitchen staff a paid day to protest, but part of me feels like the intention of showing how dependent our bar is on our immigrant heart of house will be lost on patrons. But on the other hand, they are not losing funds and the bar is as much their livelihood, as it is mine, or the owners. Either way, I’m donating my wages for that day to ayuda. I imagine there’s a lot of restaurant people that share this sentiment.
            I’d love to know which restaurant you own so I can patronize it in the future.

        • wdc

          Remember when we were in college and we didn’t read the material, and we tried to talk intelligently about it anyway? And we thought the professor couldn’t tell?
          That’s you. You’re the student who’s trying to BS his way through an informed discussion. You actually say the words “I personally just feel…” which every teacher recognizes as the cry of the ill-informed guy trying to have his say anyway.

          • MadMax

            No I don’t remember that, I actually read the material. Maybe you should have tried harder?

  • textdoc

    I saw on Facebook that Bad Saint will be closed.

  • Trinidaddy

    Do all these places hire illegal immigrants? If so, shouldn’t the title of the protest be different? There is a very important difference between legal and illegal immigrants and I think combining the two into one giant pool is a giant mistake and does a great disservice to everyone who has emigrated here legally.

  • skaballet

    Most Sweetgreen stores will also be closed

  • SassyinDC, Hillcrest/Ward7

    Had a reservation for four tomorrow at Aqua Al 2, and received a call from the restaurant saying they will also be closed tomorrow evening.

  • LGinDC

    The Pret a Manger at 19th and L is closed, too.

  • Has anyone heard of other restaurants that are staying open but donating a percentage of profits to ACLU/Ayuda?

    Haven’t heard much from MD/VA restaurant owners besides the chain locations that are closing for the day (Sweetgreen, etc). Franklin’s in Hyattsville is closing the restaurant but the general store will remain open with limited hours. I’m hoping people can share more of those as well.


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