In the five days since the Russian military invaded Ukraine at the direction of President Vladimir Putin, Chicagoans have poured into the streets to protest Europe’s first major war in decades, joining demonstrators around the U.S. and the world to show solidarity with Ukrainians under siege. As locals gather in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood with traditional flower crowns and blue-and-yellow flags, the city’s bar and restaurant industry is organizing fundraising efforts and declaring support for an independent Ukraine.
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Avondale: Essential Chicago dive bar Reed’s Local declared on Sunday in a Facebook post that it will no longer sell Russian vodka and plans to donate a portion of sales to a nonprofit for Ukrainian refugees “as long as this illegal war continues.”
Avondale: Wherewithall, the cozy restaurant from James Beard Award-winning chefs and spouses Johnny Clark and Beverly Kim, will next week introduce an entirely Ukrainian menu with a portion of proceeds going to democracy-focused nonprofit Razom for Ukraine. “As a Ukrainian American, one way I can show support for my Ukrainian brothers and sisters during this horrific act of war, is to cook the food that my Babooshka would cook for me,” Clark writes on the restaurant’s social media. “The Russian government would like to erase the Ukrainian culture and identity all together. That’s not going to happen.”
Ukrainian Village: Modern Jewish deli Jeff & Judes has two fundraisers running through March, owner Ursula Siker announced on Facebook. All month long, the deli will donate $1 from the sale of each black and white cookie to American nonprofit Sunflower of Peace for medical and humanitarian aid in Ukraine. It’ll also donate $1 from each order of Chex mix to the Transgender Education Network of Texas, an education and advocacy nonprofit that’s among many supporting trans Texans amid a barrage of legislative attacks.
Wicker Park: Neighborhood pastificio and cafe Tortello is rolling out yellow and blue farfalle pasta inspired by the Ukrainian flag. Owners and spouses Dario Monni and Jill Gray write on Instagram that 100 percent of proceeds will go to a non-profit recommended by the staff at Saints Volodymyr & Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ukrainian Village.
Evanston: Popular suburban bakery Hewn this week is donating a portion of sales to the International Rescue Committee, a nonprofit that helps people affected by humanitarian crises, according to a Facebook post. As of Sunday, ownership reports it has already raised more than $1,000.