Save Philly Restaurants from Economic Devastation of Covid-19 Crisis

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The Philadelphia’s restaurant community needs swift action from our local elected officials to have a chance for survival. Our employees are hurting worst of all, and they are the most vulnerable. We have pulled together the leading restauranteurs in the city, representing 150+ independent restaurants, to agree on top legislative priorities, and work with our elected officials to get them done. We cannot wait for Federal aid and we need our local officials to act now.

To our elected officials: 

We are the leading independent restaurateurs in Philadelphia, and we are writing to you for your immediate action, as we fight for the livelihood of thousands of our employees and indeed our very existence, during this unprecedented health and economic crisis. 

We, like you, all share a top priority: the health and safety of our employees and customers. I can assure you that we are doing everything we can to protect them, including following all government mandates aimed at stemming the spread of the Coronavirus. Governor Wolf has mandated that even now, restaurants that provide take-out and delivery services are deemed “Life-Sustaining” business and should remain open during this crisis.    

At the same time, we are battling to ensure that our restaurants, which play such an important part in our communities and economies, will still exist for our patrons and all of our employees, as soon as our beloved city can get back to business.

We have joined together as a unified voice to clarify our priorities as a plea to our city government for support.  

We have established our top 5 priorities:

  1. Emergency unemployment benefits for our laid off employees (eliminating the 4-week delay to receive checks);
  2. Rent abatement and a moratorium on commercial and residential evictions and collection actions for at least 60 days (mandated 60 day grace period to avoid defaults);
  3. Government intervention to require insurers to provide business interruption coverage related to closures that are mandated by the government related to the current health crisis;
  4. Emergency loans with no or low interest to businesses that are impacted by the government mandated closures.
  5. Declare a state sales tax “holiday” for restaurant pick-up and delivery orders, so that restaurants who stay open can compete on an even playing field with grocery delivery services (which are not generally subject to sales tax).

We realize that some of these issues are best addressed at different levels of government (local, state and national). We include them together, so that you, our elected officials, can coordinate a response to this industry crisis.

We know all industries are hurting.  However, few have been hit as hard as the hospitality industry.  Our employees are often the most economically vulnerable as well – which is why securing immediate unemployment benefits for our employees is our first priority.  

We look forward to working with you immediately to achieve the above priorities.  

Yours, in preserving the future of our fine city,

  • Jonathan Adams, Co-Founder, Rival Bros Coffee
  • Tyler Akin, Owner, Stock Restaurants, Res Ipsa Cafe
  • George Anni, Owner, Butcher Bar, Valanni, Mercato,Varga bar
  • Joseph Baldino, Owner, Palizzi Social
  • Scott Ballard, Member/Owner, idEATion Hospitality/Garces
  • Christopher Barnes, Managing Partner, Lucky's Last Chance
  • Jeff Benjamin, Co-Owner, Vetri Cucina/Fiorella
  • Matt Bucher, Director of Talent Acquisition, STARR Restaurants
  • Fergus Carey, Owner, Fergie’s Pub Grace Tavern The Fairview and The Goat
  • Todd Carmichael, Co-Founder and CEO, La Colombe Coffee Roasters
  • Jennifer Carroll, Owner/Chef, Spice Finch
  • Randall Cook, Co-Owner, Wm. Mulherin's Sons, Hiroki
  • Steven Cook, Co-Owner, CookNSolo Restaurants, Zahav, Federal Donuts, Dizengoff, Abe Fisher, Goldie, K'Far, Merkaz, Laser Wolf
  • Jimmy Daku, Owner, Bellini Grill Restaurant
  • Shawn Darragh, Co-Owner, Cheu Noodle bar, Bing Bing Dim Sum, Cheu Fishtown & nunu
  • Greg Dodge, Owner, Zavino Hospitality Group, Zavino & Tredici Enoteca
  • Nicholas Elmi, Owner/Chef, Laurel/ITV/Royal Boucherie
  • Jason Evenchik, Owner, The Vintage Syndicate (Time, Bar, Garage, Vintage etc)
  • Ben Fileccia, Director of Operations and Strategy, Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association
  • Dave Goldman, Co-Owner, Landmark Americana (2 locations) and Urban Village Brewing Company
  • Tom Henneman, CEO and Co-Founder, Federal Donuts 
  • Avram Hornik, Owner, FCM Hospitality: Morgan's Pier, dolphin tavern, Harper's garden, Rosys taco bar, Crafthall, Concourse dance bar, Parks on Tap, Mainstay brewery, Lost bread co.
  • Dean Leevongcharoen, Owner, Ramen Bar
  • Peter Leontaras, Owner, Xochitl 
  • Tim Lu, Owner, GLU Hospitaly: Leda & the Swan, Vesper Sports Club, Vesper Dayclub, Germantown Garden, Anejo, Set PHL
  • Nicole Marquis, Founder and CEO, HipCityVeg, Charlie was a sinner., and Bar Bombón
  • Daniel McLaughlin, Owner, Mission Taqueria
  • Bill & Emilio Mignucci, Owners, Di Bruno Bros (Alimentari restaurant)
  • Sam Mink, Owner, Oyster House/Mission Taqueria
  • Jon Myerow, Founder and CEO, Tria Rittenhouse, Tria Wash West, Tria Taproom
  • Michael and Jeniphur Pasquarello, owners of 13th street kitchens, KQ burger, Kensington Quarters, Café Lift, Prohibition Taproom
  • Tony Rim, Owner, Zushi LLC. Foodery @ Rittenhouse, 1225 Raw Sushi and Sake Lounge 
  • Justin Rosenberg, Honeygrow
  • Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney, Co-Owners, Safran Turney Hospitality (Barbuzzo, Little Nonna's, Bud & Marilyn's, Jamonera, Lolita)
  • Lindsey Scannapieco, Owner, Irwin's, Bok Bar
  • Michael Schulson, Owner, Schulson Collective: Via Locusta, Alpen Rose, Giuseppe and Sons, Harp & Crown, Double Knot, Independence Beer Garden, Sampan, Graffiti Bar, Osteria, DK Sushi, Schulson Catering
  • Teddy Sourias, Owner, Bru craft and wurst, Finn McCools, Ubahn, Uptown Beer Garden, Midtown, Blume, Tradesmans, Tinsel pop up 
  • Stephen Starr, STARR Restaurants
  • Miguel Toro, Owner, Vista Peru, El Balconito I & II
  • Mike Treon, owner of Roy-Pitz Brewing Company
  • George Tsiouris, Owner, Opa
  • Visiliki Tsiouris, Co-Owner, Opa, Drury Beer Garden and Craftsman Row Saloon
  • Stavros Vailiadis, Owner, Bodega Taco Bar
  • Marc Vetri, Co-Founder, Amis Trattoria, Pizzeria Vetri, Bar Amis
  • Meredith Waldman, Owner Hey Rally
  • Rob Wasserman, Owner, Rouge,Twenty Manning, Audrey Claire
  • Townsend Wentz, Owner, Townsend, A Mano, Oloroso, Townsend Wine Bar
  • Jill Weber, Founder and CEO, Jet Wine Bar, Rex 1516, Cafe Ynez
  • Chad Williams, Owner, FriSatSun
  • Peter Woolsey, Founder and CEO, Bistrot La Minette, La Peg, Gabi
  • Greg and Julie Vernick, Owner, Vernick Food & Drink; Vernick Fish; Vernick Coffee Bar; Vernick Wine
  • Ellen Yin, owner, Fork, High Street on Market, High Street Provisions, High Street Hospitality Group (a.kitchen + bar)

SENT TO:

Mayor Jim Kenney 

Governor Tom Wolf 

Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman 


Thomas P. Murt - (R) District 152           Martina White (R) - District 170

Kevin J. Boyle - (D) District 172               Michael J. Driscoll - (D) District 173

Ed Neilson - (D) District 174                   MaryLouise Isaacson - (D) District 175

Joseph Hohenstein - (D) District 177       Jason Dawkins - (D) District 179

Angel Cruz - (D) District 180                   Malcolm Kenyatta - (D) District 181

Brian Sims - (D) District 182                   Elizabeth Fiedler - (D) District 184

Maria P. Donatucci - (D) District 185       Jordan A. Harris - (D) District 186

James R. Roebuck Jr. - (D) District 188    Stephen Kinsey - (D) District 201

Joanna E. McClinton - (D) District 191     Morgan Cephas - (D) District 192

Pamela A. DeLissio - (D) District 194       Donna Bullock - (D) District 195

Danilo Burgos - (D) District 197  Rosita C. Youngblood - (D) District 198

Christopher M. Rabb - (D) District 200    Jared Solomon - (D) District 202

Isabella V. Fitzgerald - (D) District 203    Lawrence M. Farnese Jr. - (D) District 1  

Christine M. Tartaglione - (D) District 2   Sharif Street - (D) District 3        

Arthur L. Haywood III - (D) District 4       John P. Sabatina Jr. - (D) District 5          

Vincent J. Hughes - (D) District 7            Anthony H. Williams - (D) District 8

Council Member Mark Squilla 

Council Member Kenyatta Johnson 

Council Member amie Gauthier

Council Member Curtis Jones, Jr.

Council Member Darrell L. Clarke 

Council Member Bobby Henon 

Council Member Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez 

Council Member Cindy Bass 

Council Member Cherelle L. Parker 

Council Member Brian J. O'Neill 

Council Member Kendra Brooks 

Council Member Allan Domb 

Council Member Derek Green 

Council Member Katherine Gilmore 

Council Member Helen Gym

Council Member David Oh 

Council Member Isaiah Thomas 


US Senator Bob Casey

US Senator Pat Toomey 

Cong. Brendan Boyle 

Cong. Dwight Evans 

Cong. Mary Gay Scanlon