As protests against police brutality continue throughout the nation, restaurants are standing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and showing support through fundraising efforts for a variety of causes.
Here’s a look at what several Boston-area restaurants are doing to fundraise and show their support.
American Provisions and Gray’s Hall
Specialty food shop American Provisions, which has locations in South Boston and Dorchester, is teaming up with its new South Boston wine bar sibling, Gray’s Hall, to raise funds for Southern Poverty Law Center, “an organization [they] hold dear in the fight against systemic inequality.” The venues are accepting donations to SPLC in multiples of $10. “100% of donations will be matched. We at Gray’s Hall and American Provisions vow to not be complicit in a racist system. We recognize our role in the community, and strive to be better by setting an example for businesses to take action.”
The Brighton brewery is hosting a virtual dinner with guest speaker John M Borders, who is an author, the founding senior pastor at Morning Star Baptist Church in Mattapan, and someone with a long history of fighting for racial equity in Boston. “We are extremely grateful and honored to have John M Borders offer his time with us to share some of his experiences, help enlighten those of us that feel we need to learn, and expand our perspectives,” writes the Brato team. “Community discourse starts with listening, and we couldn’t have found a better local speaker to lead us. Some of the best discussions happen around a dinner table, and we thought that dinner may be best offered this weekend with an honest community driven conversation.”
The June 7 virtual dinner — available for pickup from Brato that afternoon — is $60 for a dinner for two, a choice of a 32-ounce growler, and the talk with Borders. The ticket price also includes a $15 donation toward the Lawyers for Civil Rights Boston organization in addition to Brato’s commitment to donate net profit from sales this week.
The East Cambridge cafe designed a Black Lives Matter shirt in the style of the Black Sabbath logo to raise funds for ACLU of Massachusetts, with 100% of all proceeds, including the printing cost for the shirts, going to the organization to “aid in their mission to eliminate racial disparities in our criminal justice system.” Preorder the shirt ($20) on Curio’s website; it’ll be available for pickup in a few weeks.
Dorchester Brewing and M & M BBQ
“Dorchester Brewing Company, along with M & M BBQ, are both incredibly saddened by recent events and the deaths of George Floyd and all other Black Americans who have been unjustly killed,” the brewery wrote in an email newsletter this week. (M & M BBQ, formerly known as the food truck and catering business M & M Ribs, recently opened its first permanent restaurant inside the brewery.) “Our hearts go out to the families, friends and communities impacted by this incredible loss. At the core of our mission since opening, we’ve worked to honor the diversity of Dorchester and created our Tap Room as a space for people of all backgrounds to enjoy.”
The brewery is donating $2 from every crowler sale through June 17 to the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, a Dorchester-based nonprofit organization that supports families who have lost a loved one to homicide. M & M will be matching the donation.
The Fenway restaurant is highlighting a variety of causes on social media this week — and donating to them. On June 5, for example, Mei Mei is showcasing and donating to Community Movement Builders, “a collective of black people creating self-determining communities by organizing and cooperative economics.” Keep an eye on Mei Mei’s Instagram account for more.
Sign up for a wine class (online) from Somerville’s activist natural wine bar in June, and Rebel Rebel will donate to Black and Pink Boston, a prison abolition organization that supports incarcerated LGBTQI+ and HIV+ people with services such as bail funding, penpal programs, and more.
The local grilled cheese empire is contributing 100% of its gross profit on Friday, June 5, to Campaign Zero, an organization that aims to end police violence in America via data-driven policy reform. The Allston location (485 Cambridge St.) is currently open for order-ahead and delivery for lunch and dinner (no walk-in ordering). Order online.
“We’ve been inspired by the brave and powerful work of so many folks in Boston and around the country this week. In support and solidarity with the black community we will be donating a percentage of our sales this week to the Equal Justice Initiative and we want to encourage you to consider donating too. The EJI works to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment which disproportionately affects people of color.”
Newton’s Sycamore is hosting a “Sunday sando shoppe” on June 7, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (or until sellout), for walk-up ordering, cash only. The Sycamore staff is donating their time, and all proceeds will be donated to the National Urban League, which works to enable “African Americans and other underserved urban residents to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights.” Here’s the menu for Sunday.
Looking for ways to directly support local black-owned businesses? This crowd-sourced spreadsheet lists numerous black-owned restaurants and other businesses in and around Boston. Many of the restaurants are currently offering takeout and delivery during the pandemic, and with the state’s reopening plan potentially moving forward next week, there are certain to be even more open soon.