As Portland restaurants reopen, town celebrates Juneteenth with parties and fundraisers

As the COVID-19 outbreak in Oregon continues to impact the local restaurant market, stories are cropping up across the city, from food cart owners handing out free meals To chefs starting cooking classes on Instagram. Simultaneously, the Portlanders launched nightly protests, responding to police brutality and racism both in the city of Portland and across the country. In this new version from AM Intel, we take a look at different ways the state’s restaurant industry has responded to the global pandemic and local outcry against white supremacy. For more COVID-19 stories, check out our wider story stream.

Portland celebrates Juneteenth

On Friday, many Portlanders celebrated June 17, the anniversary of the day federal troops began enforcing the emancipation of black Americans in Texas, who were still in slavery years after the emancipation proclamation. In Portland, the weekend involved several Juneteenth-related events, including a Jamboree in McCoy Park and an after-party at Revolution Hall.

Many restaurants in Portland celebrated Juneteenth by raising funds for the Black Resilience Fund. Founded by longtime activist Cameron Whitten and organizer Salome Chimuku, the Black Resilience Fund is a newly formed organization that raises money for black Portlanders, purchasing expenses such as rent, bills, and credit cards. credit.

To support the fund, several Portland-area restaurants have agreed to donate at least 10% of their proceeds, either only on June 19 or over the weekend. Restaurants and bars like Aviv, Mediterranean Exploration Company, Red Sauce Pizza, and The Oregon Public House participated, along with over 150 other companies. The fund has currently raised over $ 767,000.

Outside of the day, the weekend was again marked with many celebrations and free food in honor of the protests and black Portland. On Saturday, the Snack Bloc group – which provides water, snacks and other resources to protesters – hosted a big block party at Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade, under the Hawthorne Bridge. A number of Portland food and beverage companies participated, including Deadstock Coffee, Vietnamese vegan brand Mama Dut Foods, and Kulfi PDX. The event also included performances by people like Portland rapper Karma Rivera and legendary drag performer Poison Waters. Throughout the weekend, some of the companies that provided free meals to the Black Portlanders continued to do so – Trap Kitchen handed out free meals on Saturday, with the help of a large donation from the Blazers’ shooting guard. CJ McCollum; Kee’s Loaded Kitchen handed out meals on Sundays.

Portland begins reopening process

The other big event of the weekend: Portland began the reopening process, which meant Portland restaurant and bar owners were able to start serving customers onsite. Many restaurants have chosen to remain closed this weekend; however, a sizable handful have opened their terraces and / or dining rooms for drinks and meals, including Gado Gado, R&R Bar, and Prost. This list covers a handful who announced plans to open on Friday, but even more began to open doors as the weekend continued.

However, new cases of the coronavirus continue to pile up in the Portland area. Multnomah County broke the record for most new cases in a single day on Sunday, with 84 new cases. In an attempt to curb the spread, Governor Kate Brown has demanded that everyone in Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington and four other counties wear masks in indoor spaces like grocery stores. Restaurants and bars do not need to require customers to wear masks when eating and drinking.

Restaurants back in the take-out game

• Nostrana has reopened for take out, with things like Dungeness Crab Linguini and Saffron Arancini. The restaurant also produces “protest pizzas,” which are free for walkers. Non-walkers can also order the pizza, in exchange for a $ 100 donation to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Take-out returns on Thursday.
• Instead of just partnering with Ava Gene’s take-out program, Tusk launched its own take-out program, with a menu of sandwiches, salads and mezze, among other dishes. It is available Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• Duck has started making take out and even delivering caviar, with dishes like the restaurant’s popular steamed burgers, its “duck stack” pancakes with duck sausage sauce and soft sundaes. .
• Yes Chippy, a fish and chip shop located in Scotch Lodge, is now open, with fish sandwiches, Sichuan lamb poutine and “chip butty”, a sandwich with fries.

Note: Waz Wu, an Eater Portland contributor, collaborated with Mama Dut Foods on the Snack Bloc event.

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Sandy A. Greer