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Independent restaurants continue to struggle to stay afloat during the pandemic, whether they’re open for dining, operating takeout only, or hibernating for the winter. Find out about a few of the restaurant funds helping small eateries and their employees through grants, crowdfunding, and more. And check out these four local businesses partnering with these restaurant funds by donating proceeds. You can support these businesses or donate to restaurant funds directly to help keep our favorite North Shore restaurants alive through the duration of this pandemic. 

Privateer Rum

For the first time ever, the Ipswich distillery is making its privately labeled bottles available to the public. Normally, these rums are hand-selected by many top Massachusetts restaurants. Half of the proceeds from each purchase will go to Mass Restaurants United, a coalition of independent area restaurants banding together to survive the pandemic. Click here to see Privateer’s assortment of private bottles, and the eateries for which they’re typically selected. 

Osteria Nino and Tito’s Vodka

The Burlington Italian restaurant is partnering with Tito’s Vodka to raise funds for the Restaurant Strong Fund. First launched in Massachusetts on March 18, 2020, the fund initially raised half a million dollars to support Boston-area restaurants facing closures. Since then, the Restaurant Strong Fund has partnered with Samuel Adams and launched in 19 other states. 

Stop in to Osteria Nino to order any of their Restaurant Strong cocktails, and they’ll donate $3 per drink to the Restaurant Strong Fund. Drinks include Tito’s Red Sangria, a limoncello cosmo, and an espresso martini. Tito’s will also donate an additional $2,500 to the fund.

Island Creek Oysters

The local oyster company has teamed up with Mass Restaurants United by creating a new t-shirt to raise awareness about the struggles still facing independent restaurants and to provide support. One hundred percent of the t-shirt’s proceeds will go towards MRU and the hundreds of small restaurants they back. You can purchase the t-shirt for $25 here.

Project Paulie

The Boston-based apparel brand creates beanies for a cause. Their PB Beanie’s proceeds go to Mass Restaurants United, while the proceeds from their Kilpatrick Beanie support the Independent Restaurant Coalition. Each beanie is sustainably made, and each signature tomato is hand-embroidered by Boston artist Goody Great. On Project Paulie’s website you can find over a dozen other beanies, each color supporting a different nonprofit, like No Kid Hungry or Planned Parenthood.

Support Coalitions Directly

Mass Restaurants United

Buy an MRU t-shirt and 100% of proceeds go towards the organization. And, sign up for their email list to become a member and get updates on their work and on action items to get involved.

Behind You

Since 1999, Behind You, formerly the Elizabeth Bookholz Memorial Fund, has supported North Shore food service employees who are out of work due to injury or illness. They currently support individuals in Beverly, Lynn, Marblehead, Peabody, Salem, and Swampscott. Their sponsors include North Shore favorites LedgerNotch Brewing, and Deacon Giles Distillery. Click here to donate.

Restaurant Strong Fund

The Massachusetts branch of the Restaurant Strong Fund has partnered with Samuel Adams and the Greg Hill Foundation to provide support and grants to millions of vulnerable food service employees. Click here to learn more and donate.