Image Source: AP/Mary Altaffer
The latest $1.9 trillion COVID relief aid package includes $25 billion to help America's ailing restaurants stay afloat. About $5 billion of that amount is earmarked specifically for smaller restaurants with less than $500,000 in 2019 revenues. Overall, the Restaurant Relief Fund would provide grants of up to $5 million per restaurant with few spending restrictions. For multi-unit operations, the grant goes up to $10 million total with up to 20 locations eligible to receive aid. The relief bill is expected to pass through the House of Representatives this week and then head to the Senate.
Image Source: Courtesy L'Arpege
The prestigious Michelin Guide has released its annual star ratings in France, in part to lift morale throughout the country's battered restaurant industry. This year, 45 restaurants lost their Michelin stars and 57 earned new ones. Among the winners, ONA (which stands for Origine Non Animale or Non-Animal Origin), a vegan restaurant in the southwestern village of Arès, near Bordeaux. With its shiny new Michelin star, ONA is the first animal-free establishment to appear in the Michelin Guide to France since the guide was first published way back in 1900.
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In a new pivot for the struggling restaurant industry, hotel rooms have become the latest fine-dining hot spots. As lockdowns continue and the weather cools too much for outdoor dining, some restaurateurs see no other way to keep their businesses alive through the winter. It's a win-win for the hospitality industry, as hotel occupancy rates have also hit historic lows this year. From New York and Boston to Chicago and Minneapolis, hotel beds and nightstands are being pushed aside for beautifully set dining tables that provide guests with elegant meals similar to what they might experience in a restaurant, albeit with a limited number of guests.
Image Source: The Robinson Family
The co-founder of Cozy Corner in Memphis, 83-year-old Desiree Robinson opened the restaurant in 1977 with her late husband, Raymond Robinson. She still serves their dry rub ribs, Cornish hens, and bologna sandwiches to this day. Desiree is quick to credit Raymond for the recipes, but she has been instrumental in working the pits and sustaining the restaurant's success. Robinson is the first Black woman and first living Black person to receive the Barbecue Hall of Fame award. Congrats Desiree!
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Don't want to wait in line? Celebrated Austin pitmaster Aaron Franklin will now ship his famous smoked brisket to your door. Each order includes five pounds of smoked Black Angus beef along with a 15-ounce bottle of Texas BBQ sauce. The cooked brisket comes vacuum packed and can be kept refrigerated for about a week or frozen for months. Just reheat and slice. And pull out your wallet. Each order costs $250. At least shipping is free.