Last Call: Fun ways to support bars and restaurants (besides eating)

Illustration for article titled Last Call: Fun ways to support bars and restaurants (besides eating)
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Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

It’s been emphasized time and again the last few months that restaurants need our help right now, so anyone with the means should buy gift certificates or order takeout to support their favorite local spots. On a grander scale, if you’re looking to support COVID-19 relief efforts, there are all sorts of ways you can help the cause, like making an online donation toward restaurant employee grants or buying hot-dog-centric merchandise that donates a portion of its proceeds to Feeding America. But there are lots of ways to help, beyond the obvious (and important) charities and donation drives. When open-hearted people want to tackle a catastrophic problem, they do it with creativity and gusto.


We at The Takeout learned this week about a fun way to raise money for COVID-19 relief while also supporting local artists: Eating Our Feelings, a zine all about food and drink in the time of the pandemic. Featuring the words and illustrations of Atlanta-area artists (compiled by Lizzy Johnston, Linda McNeil, and Austin L. Ray), the zine will be released June 5 and is available for preorder online. It costs $20, and 100% of its proceeds will go toward The Giving Kitchen in Atlanta, which “provides stability for some of the most hard-working and vulnerable members of our community: food service workers.”

Excerpt from the forthcoming “Eating Our Feelings” zine
Excerpt from the forthcoming “Eating Our Feelings” zine
Photo: Austin L. Ray

It’s just one of several enlightening fundraisers we’ve seen in recent weeks. The Hideout, a beloved live music venue and Chicago institution, has been relying in part on merch sales to keep itself afloat, and it recently teamed up with local artists to create limited-edition postcards for people to send notes to their loved ones during quarantine. The postcards are just as useful as they are beautiful (do you want to send them in the mail or hang them on your wall?), and 30% of the proceeds go directly back to the artists who designed them.

What are some innovative local community efforts happening in your area? For those with the ability to make donations these days, what might be the best use for those dollars?

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.


Sleep Attack

I’ve always had more band/venue/pop culture tee shirts than I need, but I’ve really stepped things up in the past two months, augmenting my collection with tons more tee shirts... somehow even though my primary motivation is to make a donation, it feels “better” to get a tee shirt out of the deal. For the record, I only get shirts I think are cool! But now my tee shirt drawer runneth over. Seriously, so many goddamn tee shirts. Dinosaur Jr. and Nathaniel Rateliff and Sean Na Na and on and on. And yet another shirt is on the way from a joint that’s maybe in my top ten local music venues. Hell, today I had to talk myself out of ordering a shirt I already have!

And by golly, if I see a social media post from a band or venue tomorrow touting a shirt, I’ll probably buy that one, too.