On Thursday, February 16, restaurants across the country will either close for the day or attempt to get by on a skeletal crew due to a national protest known as “A Day Without Immigrants.” Several Twin Cities restaurants will participate in the movement, which was born in protest of Donald Trump’s controversial immigration policy. The campaign has been organized on social media and calls for restaurants that rely heavily on immigrant staff to close on Thursday. The movement also encourages immigrant workers to stay home, keep their children from school and avoid spending money for one day to demonstrate their positive economic contribution to their communities. Several local restaurants, including Zen Box, Hola Arepa, Sonora Grill, World Street Kitchen, MilkJam, El Burrito Mercado, Messa Pizza, Panderia San Miguel, El Nuevo Rodeo, La Guadalupana, La Loma, Boca Chica, Al Vento, Victor's 1959, Las Mujeres, Tinto Cocina + Cantina, Maya Cuisine, La Alborada, La Poblanita, Taco Taxi, Filfillah Mediterranean, Los Ocampo, Taco Cat, Salsa a La Salsa, Los Gallos, all of Hector Ruiz’s restaurants (Cafe Ena, La Fresca, Rincon 38, Costa Blanca) and all Blue Plate restaurants will participate in the protest. All restaurants will reopen at usual hours on Friday, February 17 for regular business hours.
El Burrito says that the total number of family and employees participating in the boycott numbers nearly 200. World Street Kitchen, owned and run by brothers Sameh and Saed Wadi, who are immigrants themselves have pledged to pay all employees who were scheduled to work.
In Washington D.C., Celebrity chef José Andrés, who is originally from Spain, will close several of his restaurants the day of the boycott Andrés backed out of his contract to open a restaurant in Trump International Hotel.