These Dallas Restaurants Are Short-Staffed or Closed Today As Part of a Day Without an Immigrant
An American flag flies at Oddfellows during the restaurant's election watch party last November. Today, some of Oddfellows staff — immigrants who were born in other countries — will be staying home in protest as part of A Day Without an Immigrant.
Update, 12:25 p.m.: We're receiving more tips about affected restaurants than we are able to confirm, but we do know that restaurants across the city are experiencing staff walk-outs, protests or outright closures as a result of Day Without Immigrants action. We'll continue to update with confirmations as we're able.
A running list of businesses experiencing confirmed staff walk-outs/protests:
- Bolsa Mercado
- El Rancho Supermercado (Closed)
- Meddlesome Moth (Serving limited menu)
- The Theodore
- Taquerias Pedritos (Closed)
- Lark on the Park (Limited menu)
- Trompo is open but donating a portion of today's proceeds to the ACLU
- La Duni at NorthPark (Limited menu; just salads and sandwiches)
- Encanto Pops (Closed)
Update 11:15 a.m.: Some staff have walked out at The Theodore, Bolsa and Bolsa Mercado, according to chef and restaurateur Christopher Zielke. "Had most of the BOH out at the Theodore," he tells the Observer. "A few at Bolsa. A couple at (Bolsa) Mercado. We are covering them."
Dallas restaurateur Shannon Wynne says some of his concepts are serving a limited menu today because of staff protests. "Please recognize a Day Without Immigrants Day is a real thing, causing us to serve a limited menu today," he posted, but he didn't specify which concepts would be affected.
Anastacia Quinones is gearing up for an uncharacteristically busy day at Oddfellows.
The chef is not necessarily anticipating extra crowds today, but she is down five people, mostly in the back of the house. With the blessing of both her and Oddfellows owner Amy Wallace Cowan, five of her team members are staying home today in protest as part of today's nationwide protest A Day Without an Immigrant, wherein some immigrants are staying home from work, keeping their kids home from school and even committing to not shop for groceries, go out to eat or spend any money at all.
Nationwide, some restaurants have been forced to close for the day, or — like Sweetgreen, the salad franchise closing all 18 of its Washington, D.C., locations — are intentionally closing in solidarity with their immigrant employees. It's still early in the day, but reports of closures are trickling in.
On Oddfellows' cheerful corner of Oak Cliff, Quinones' missing team members are all American citizens or are here on visas, she says, but were born in other countries.
"They are making a stance for sure for their friends and family," she says. "They didn't take their kids to school either; not going to the grocery store or anything. I'm tempted to send them all food."
Oddfellows announced their short-staffed situation this morning in a post on social media, which Cowan shared with her own added comments.
"At first I was sad because I felt like they were associating me with 'the man,' when I've fought my whole adult life to be better than that," Cowan writes. "But two hours into their absence, I think it has been good for the rest of our team to see how important these people are to us, both personally and professionally. We couldn't close in solidarity, as we employ young folks and single moms and all who need every shift they can get. But the absence is felt. Their contribution is noted."
El Padrino, a local Mexican restaurant with two Dallas locations, is closing for the day, according to a Facebook post.
"In observance and solidarity of our marginalized communities, we've decided to close our restaurants on Thursday, Feb. 16," El Padrino wrote on Facebook. "We'll resume normal business hours on Friday, Feb. 17. As a business, it is our belief that our communities should be treated with the utmost respect, regardless of one's citizenship status."
El Rancho Supermercado, a Texas grocery chain with six Dallas locations, "opened its doors since 1988 with the purpose of making the Hispanic population of the United States feel at home," and the company is closing all of its stores today as part of the protest, according to a Facebook post.
Throughout the day, we'll update this post as we hear of other parts of the Dallas food industry affected by the protest.
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