Edgewater hosts Virtual Restaurant Week to help local restaurants during COVID-19 pandemic

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Restaurant Week is typically a big deal in Chicago. Many neighborhoods around the city even host their own smaller versions.

But with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Edgewater switched gears and made theirs virtual to help support small businesses.

"It's an opportunity to support local small businesses and restaurants in the same way that they support their community," said Christina Pfitzinger, executive director of the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce. "We've got everything from restaurants that are offering soups, specials and takeout, so depending on your needs there are restaurants that are serving you."

The chamber included 26 businesses that have various deals and dining options that are all delivery or takeout.

Edgewater Tacos opened in 2016. Its owners, a brother and sister duo, put everything they had into the restaurant and want to make sure it survives.

"We've got our combat boots on and tied all the way to the top. We have to tread through this," owner Patty Guerrero said. "We're using every precaution necessary to maintain our restaurant as clean as possible. We're cleaning every half hour and disinfecting, and I know other restaurants are following that protocol."

Since the state mandated all restaurants and bars end dine-in services, many small businesses have struggled.

"A lot of days we're flying by the seat of our pants," Guerrero said.

Fellow industry member Colin Tuska agreed.

"It's not as busy; the income is not the same as it would've been, but it's better than closing up the doors," said Tuska, general manager at Income Tax.

But having a community to support them is what's getting them through.

"I feel like without regulars we would not even have the conversation about imagining going through this, said Mike Bancroft, owner of Sauce and Bread Kitchen. "They're so huge to what it is that we're doing and being able to sustain what it is that we're doing."

Tuska said he's optimistic.

"It fills myself and my team with hope that once this is over, things will go back to business as usual," Tuska added.

Jalyn Henderson is a Community Journalist at ABC 7 Chicago. She tells stories on the North Side of Chicago in neighborhoods like Uptown, Edgewater, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, West Ridge and Rogers Park. If you have a story to share in these neighborhoods you can send an email to Jalyn.L.Henderson@abc.com
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