- Photo: Noni Brueckner
- Trotwood restaurant at Glen Falls House is open for takeout dinner (Thursday-Sunday, 5-8pm) and brunch (Saturday-Sunday 8am-3pm)
From gourmet farm-to-table fare to cozy mom-and-pop pizza joints, the Hudson Valley has become a foodie destination on par with many major cities. At least until the COVID-19 outbreak hit. On March 16, Governor Andrew Cuomo implemented a takeout and delivery-only policy for all restaurants in New York state that ground our regional dining landscape to a near halt.
Faced with mounting costs, many area restaurants have made the difficult decision to temporarily close their doors and lay off most of their staff. Others are still trying to keep things afloat with just takeout and delivery. But independent restaurants operate on razor-thin margins, and every dollar makes a difference. If we want more than 25 percent of restaurants to be open when this is all over, we all have to pitch in right now.
Below is a list of ways we can support our Hudson Valley restaurants—from snagging a branded tee to debut on the spring runway (ahem, hallway) to contributing cash to fundraisers going directly to the service industry workers who need it most.
Keep Ordering Takeout and Delivery, and Add Some Gift Cards While You're at It
It's a no-brainer that we should keep supporting restaurants that are still open. For a list of restaurants offering takeout and delivery services, check out our Hudson Valley COVID-19 Restaurant Guide, a crowd-sourced database that any restaurant can contribute to.
Most restaurants also offer gift cards on their websites, so why not stow away a few for a future celebratory dinner or drinks with your friends? If you don’t see something on their website reach out by email or on social media to find out how else you can contribute.
Donate to Restaurant Relief Funds and Nonprofits
Many service workers are unemployed right now, so the quickest way to help is through a donation to one of the many restaurant staff funds that have been started on sites like GoFundMe. If you know your favorite spot has closed, reach out to ask how you can help support their staff. Below are a few of the GoFundMe fundraisers for restaurants in our area:
Local Relief Funds
Cucina Employee Relief Fund - Cucina, Woodstock
Liberty Street Hospitality Professionals - Mama Roux, Ms. Fairfax, The Wherehouse, and Liberty Street Bistro, Newburgh
Terrapin Employee Fund - Virtual Tip Jar - Terrapin, Rhinebeck
Help Support the Pines Family - The Pines, Mt Tremper
Fuchsia Tiki Loves You COVID-19 Relief Fund - Fuschia Tiki, New Paltz
Help Support the Staff at Lil' Deb's Oasis - Lil’ Deb’s Oasis, Hudson
Relief Fund for Rivertown Crew - Rivertown Lodge and Tavern, Hudson
Many service industry workers are likely going to be in need of meal assistance themselves. Check out our list of Hudson Valley organizations offering meal assistance during the COVID-19 outbreak, and consider donating to a local food pantry.
You can also donate to one of the following national nonprofits that have started coronavirus-specific funds to support service industry workers:
The Service Workers Mutual Aid Fund supports furloughed service industry employees who “need funds for food, medical bills, childcare, or any other financial stressor.” It was started in Ohio, but workers anywhere can apply for relief through a confidential funds request.
Emergency Coronavirus Tipped and Service Worker Support Fund from One Fair Wage, a nonprofit that regularly advocates for fair pay for minimum wage workers across the US.
Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund from the James Beard Foundation, which will go toward a grant program the national nonprofit is developing to assist small restaurants and food businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Snag Some Swag from Your Fave Restaurant
Let’s face it, you’re probably in need of some new tees to add to your isolation rotation. Here are a few restaurants and breweries with swag we love:
• Fruition Chocolate Works, West Shoka
• Kingston Bread + Bar, Kingston
• Phoenicia Diner, Phoenicia
• Sloop Brewing Co. East Fishkill
• Subversive Malting and Brewing, Catskill
• Lil’ Deb’s Oasis, Hudson
Buy a Cookbook...or Three
All this time at home means you can finally tackle all those ambitious cooking projects. Why not add some fuel to the flame with some new cookbook inspo, too?
If you’re hankering for some Catskill diner classics at home, the Phoenicia Diner’s cookbook just came out this month.
Need to level-up your basic cooking skills? Bistro-to-Go’s cookbook, Feel Good Food will teach you the basics of soups, braises, salad dressings, and more.
If you’re looking for other resources or ways to help, check out the regularly updated list of Hudson Valley COVID-19 resources from our news site, The River.