It’s been a long week for everyone. While we’ve suffered some losses, we are grateful that all of our employees are safe and we were able to open our kitchen today and start to get back to work.
Since we aren’t a typical restaurant, we can’t open up and start seating guests for dinners right away. Our dinner program requires lots of planning, scheduling and preparation, so we won’t officially be able to open to the public until Sunday, November 11th.
By that time, we will have been unable to operate for almost two weeks, which is a large blow financially to the business and emotionally to our core staff. Our hourly staff was unable to work for the past week, which as you can imagine, is distressing.
The good news is, we’ve rescheduled some of last week’s dinners and added some new ones to the calendar for November, in the hopes that we can recoup some of the losses sustained over the past week and get our staff back to work.
We thought about it and decided nothing would be more fitting than one of our absolute favorite dinners - Tour of the Five Boroughs – so we’re bringing it back for three nights over the week of November 11th. Serving these dinners will help us get back on our feet, help us to help others, and allow all of us to celebrate this wonderful city.
Many of our friends in the restaurant industry suffered greatly as well, and it is important to us to help them out. So…we have a plan. We will offer 50 percent of the profits from all three of the Tour of the Five Boroughs dinners to help Staten Island recover from the horrific damage it sustained. We will be giving to Tunnel to Towers Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, a program administered by the organization founded in memory of Staten Island firefighter Stephen Siller, who lost his life on 9/11.
Later this week, we will officially launch our holiday program, which includes a selection of gourmet gift baskets, holiday catering and take-out for Thanksgiving. Ten percent of all catering in November and December, as well as $5 for every large gift basket purchased, will be donated to the Red Hook Initiative Relief Fund.
We are in the process of planning benefit dinners for December & January with some AMAZING guest chefs from across the country. These dinners will help provide relief to our friends in Dumbo and Red Hook who are at risk of losing their businesses due to damage from the storm.
Finally, over the next few months, we will be hosting local chefs whose storm-damaged kitchens are being rebuilt. We’ve been in contact with many of these chefs over the past week and will be planning these dinners once the chefs have a handle on the next steps they need to take for their own kitchens and restaurant renovations.
Many of you have reached out in the past week asking how you can help! Here are five ways in which you can:
- #dineoutNYC - Eat out below 40th Street. Downtown restaurants lost anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 a day from being closed because of power. Support the little guys and tip well!
- When we open back up, eat out with us - maybe one of the Tour dinners! Or our Shabbat. How about America’s Greatest New Cooks or Foreign & Domestic’s Greatest Hits? Just choose one and come and tell a friend or five!
- Gift a gift that gives back! For every purchase of one of our holiday gift baskets, we will donate $5 to the Red Hook Initiative Relief Fund.
- Plan a holiday party with our great food that supports an even greater cause. During the months of November and December, we will also donate 10% of our catering and any orders for Thanksgiving SIDES & PIES to Red Hook!
- Let us know of any chefs who are displaced and could benefit from cooking at CITY GRIT while their restaurants are being repaired!
Thanks again for all of the messages, emails, texts, and Facebook posts over the past week and for your support in the coming weeks as well!