With some restaurants across the country closing for the day in solidarity with America’s immigrant communities, a couple of local establishments are taking a different approach. The owners of Chai Pani in Decatur and Botiwalla in Ponce City Market will donate 100 percent of Thursday’s profits to the American Civil Liberties Union.
“The restaurants of Chai Pani Restaurant Group stand in solidarity with the immigrant labor strike on February 16,” reads a statement posted to social media. “All of our workers are encouraged to protest, but we are keeping our doors open to donate 100 percent of profits to the ACLU. We encourage all to stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters [on Thursday]. Without them, our industry would not exist.”
The group will also donate profits from its Asheville restaurants: a second Chai Pani outpost, MG Road Bar & Lounge, and Buxton Hall Barbecue.
Update: 10:20 a.m. Billy and Kristin Allin’s restaurants — Cakes & Ale in Decatur and Proof Bakeshop and Bread & Butterfly in Inman Park — are getting in on the action. All three will donate 100 percent of Thursday’s profits to United We Dream, a nonpartisan network that is made up of more 100,000 immigrant youth and allies and 55 affiliate organizations in 26 states. “They organize and advocate for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and families, regardless of immigration status,” a spokesperson says.
Update: 10:30 a.m. Farm Burger will close its three restaurants in Decatur, Buckhead, and Dunwoody for the day.
"At Farm Burger, we’re proud that our restaurant family is comprised of a diverse staff with roots that spread throughout the globe,” reads a statement from the local chain. “Our restaurants, like so many other businesses throughout the country, could not function or succeed without their hard work and dedication. Today, February 16, we are closing all of our Atlanta locations in solidarity of ‘Day Without Immigrants.’
“This is an opportunity to respect and support many of our employees’ hopes to use the day in protest of current government policies and treatment of immigrants. Farm Burger is thankful and indebted for the dedicated work from our immigrant staff over the years, be it in our kitchens, service or in the fields with our farmers. Thank you for your understanding, and we’ll be open and ready to welcome you again starting Friday, February 17."
Update: 2 p.m. “About 70 percent” of the restaurants and and other businesses at Buford Highway’s Plaza Fiesta are closed for the day, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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