4/3 Update: Jessica Koslow's Sqirl is suspending its prepared-foods service today, and will be picking up where Silverton left off. In an Instagram post the Virgil Village restaurant states that it will continue the Maker's Mark partnership that offers free meals for restaurant workers in need, beginning Saturday, April 4.
"The mission is still the same, there is still an urgent need for assistance for the thousands of restaurant workers who find themselves suddenly without work, without a paycheck and without a support system," the post says, continuing, "If we don’t take a stand and do something now, there will not be an independent restaurant industry to speak of when the corona-virus crisis is over."
4/1 Update: Silverton's Mozza group will be temporarily closing, including its free meal service. "The health and safety of our team, guests and community have always been and will always be our top priority," a statement posted across all Silverton's restaurants says. "We have decided to close our doors until further notice. Stay safe, and we look forward to welcoming you back as soon as possible."
While a number of L.A. restaurants are pivoting business models and adding delivery specials to stem the tide, thousands of workers across California have already lost their jobs to the statewide coronavirus restaurant and bar shutdowns. At least on Melrose, now they have somewhere to turn.
Beginning today, the James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur behind Mozza is flipping her restaurant complex at the corner of Melrose and Highland into a temporary relief center.
Running the operation out of her chi SPACCA space and offering daily free meals and basic supplies such as diapers and canned foods, Nancy Silverton is providing aid for restaurant-industry professionals who’ve suffered a recent layoff or considerable reduced hours due to the virus.
Seven nights a week for the foreseeable future, Silverton and her team will prep 300 to-go meals each evening, with pickup hours of 5:30 to 8:30pm, and meals limited to two per person (unless a guest is facing an emergency situation). Those in need should bring valid ID and proof of recent restaurant employment, such as a paystub, and arrive as early as possible; meals will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Should a line form, the Mozza team requests guests maintain the recommended distance of six feet of space between people.
Free, limited supplies will also be available, including toilet paper, baby food, wipes, diapers, Tylenol and non-perishable canned foods. If you would like to donate supplies to the cause, you can email Kate Green at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A handful of local restaurants, bars and food organizations have also helped feed impacted members of the service industry, including Thunderbolt, which gave out 20 meals to those in need yesterday, and KinderGreens, who are sending chefs boxes of fresh produce to eat at home.
Silverton’s relief center is in partnership with Maker’s Mark bourbon, and is located at 6610 Melrose Ave. Pickup hours are 5:30 to 8:30pm nightly.