When Chicago restaurants were first ordered to shut their doors to dine-in guests last month, beloved burger spot Kuma's Corner decided to forgo takeout and temporarily shutter to protect its staff and longtime diners. But now that the Illinois "stay-at-home" order has been extended through May 30, owner Ron Cain is reopening the restaurant's Avondale and West Loop locations for delivery and pickup orders.
"When we shut down in March, we thought we'd be able to reopen at the end of April or the middle of May at the latest," Cain says. "When they came out and said it would be extended through the end of May, we knew we needed to get some sort of revenue coming through the doors."
Kuma's isn't the only Chicago restaurant getting back into the takeout game since the Illinois "stay-at-home" order was extended. Michelin-starred Boka launches its to-go program via Tock on Friday, May 1, serving family meals that utilize seasonal produce from nearby farms that's otherwise going unsold. Costa Rican stalwart Irazú also reopened for delivery and pickup as of April 17, with fan-favorite dishes like empanadas, ceviche and burritos on the menu.
Relaunching tonight, Kuma's to-go lineup includes 13 burgers, like the fan-favorite High on Fire with Sriracha hot sauce, roasted red pepper, prosciutto, pineapple and sweet chili paste. You can toss in BBQ pork fries, buffalo chicken tenders, and the fully loaded mac and cheese, which is packed with a laundry list of tasty ingredients like bacon, caramelized onions, jalapeños and mushrooms.
Cain says he's used the time off to deep clean all of his restaurants and put new safety standards in place. Both locations offer contactless delivery, and all employees will wear gloves and masks while handling food. For now, suburban outposts in Schaumburg and Vernon Hills remain closed.
"We've had a lot of people reach out and request our food, and I think we can do this," Cain says. "I reached out to my employee base to see if they wanted to, and they did. We won't have a ton of people working, but it gets a few people back to work."
Diners can order through the Kuma's Corner app or website and via delivery platforms Grubhub or Doordash, though Cain discourages the latter due to the fact that "third-party operations... take percentages from each order." To encourage direct business, Kuma's is offering $5 off your first order if you use the restaurant's proprietary app—just use the code "KUMAS5" at checkout.
To get the full Kuma's experience at home, upgrade your order with a can of Half Acre Daisy Cutter, prepare a rock-heavy playlist and dust off your bottle of Malört.
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