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Jones' Bar-B-Q
Photograph: Courtesy Goldbelly

This relief fund aims to bring back 100 permanently closed restaurants

Goldbelly's Local Legends Fund wants to save your favorite restaurant

Morgan Olsen
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Morgan Olsen
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City life may be returning to some semblance of normalcy, but the landscape has changed forever. Over the past year and a half, we've lost countless restaurants, bars, theaters and bookstores to COVID-19. Too many small, independently owned businesses have had to permanently shutter to avoid total financial ruin, leaving behind legacies that ended too soon.

A new relief fund in the US is aiming to change that and reverse the fate of nearly 100 American restaurants along the way. Gourmet food marketplace Goldbelly recently launched the Local Legends Fund with the express mission of '[reviving] restaurants around the country that have had to close their doors due to unexpected challenges or obstacles, including the pandemic, and make them stronger than they were before.'

'When we lose these beloved neighborhood gems, or local legends, we lose the history, the traditions and the rituals that meant so much to the people in those communities and admirers from afar – not only threatening the identity and character of the places in which they existed, but also robbing the next generation of these treasures,' writes Goldbelly founder and CEO Joe Ariel.

The resources and expertise provided to each restaurant will be tailored to suit their individual needs – whether that's rent assistance, new equipment or something else entirely.

Here's where you come in: Goldbelly is asking the public to nominate 'Local Legends' to benefit from the fund – and it's pretty simple to give your favorite bygone restaurant a shoutout. Just be prepared to wax poetic about why the restaurant is important to you, what dishes they're best known for and why they're so legendary. Restaurant owners: You can apply for the fund by filling in a short application, too.

We can't change the past, but we can give restaurants the support they need now – it may not be too late after all.

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