WICKER PARK — A Wicker Park restaurant and bar is feeding roughly 1,000 Chicagoans this weekend.
DSTRKT Bar & Grill, 1540 N. Milwaukee Ave., is delivering meals to health care workers, police officers, public health officials and people in the armed forces.
The food — chicken tenders, chicken wings, pizza and salads — will be individually packaged.
Frank Maza and Joy Chavez opened DSTRKT last year. On Thursday Maza said he felt it was important to provide food to those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We wanna make sure everybody eats,” he said. “We just got to be in this together.”
On Thursday, Maza and Chavez delivered meals to doctors, nurses and other health care staffers at Norwegian American Hospital, 1044 N. Francisco Ave., in Humboldt Park. DSTRKT covered 50 percent of the expenses while an anonymous corporate sponsor paid the other half.
At 3 and 5 p.m. on Friday, DSTRKT will provide meals to police officers and staff at the Chicago Police Department’s Shakespeare District (14th), 2150 N. California Ave.
On Saturday, the restaurant will give meals to the Illinois Department of Public Health and the National Guard. Pick-up will be at noon at the former Illinois Vehicle Testing Facility (now a drive-up testing facility), 6959W. Forest Preserve Drive.
“All in all we’ll feed about 1,000 people when it’s all said and done,” DSTRKT’s George Herrera said.
Finally, DSTRKT wants to feed laid-off workers, too.
Noon-2 p.m. Friday, the restaurant will give free meals to people who have lost their jobs in the service and hospitality industries.
These meals — a worker’s choice of chicken wings, tacos or fried shrimp — are funded by Pernod Ricard’s Free Meals for Bartenders program.
Order your meal by direct messaging Pernod Ricard employee Christopher Villalobos on Instagram (@villa_de_los_lobos). before 11 a.m. Friday. (Check out his Instagram story for details).
DSTRKT has been able to keep half its staff on payroll and partially fund meals for first responders because neighbors are keep placing carryout orders, Maza said.
“There’s a lot of restaurants on the [Milwaukee Avenue] strip that are just closed,” Maza said. “We’re open because of the support we’ve been given. It means a lot to us.”
Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.