Friday, February 22

Fundraising for JJ's

In the hours and days that followed the explosion, JJ's army of supporters pulled together with lightning speed to raise funds for the employees. I knew that the restaurant community was a incestuous, loving group, but this has been amazing and heartwarming to witness. The love, generosity and support flowing forth from everyone who has ever set foot inside JJ's is a testament to how important one restaurant can be for a city.

This information can also be found on JJ's facebook page. I hope you don't mind me sharing it again here. There are a couple of smaller benefits on their page.

Direct Donations 
Donate to the Employee Fund at directly until March 6. They have met and surpassed their initial fundraising goal of $10,000. Currently, numbers show $16,320 raised. Click here to help. Thanks again to Chef Terry Mille for setting this up. After the deadline, the funds raised through Indiegogo will be deposited directly into a fund set up by JJ's through Country Club Bank. See note from JJ's below.

GKCRC One-Night Benefit
The Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association has organized a one-night-only benefit with over 70 participating restaurants. Each business will be donating 10% of sales made on Saturday, February 23, 2013. From fast food to high end, independents to corporate favorites, neighborhood bars to tablecloth restaurants, everyone is stepping up. We will be at Westport Cafe & Bar for lunch and Jasper's for dinner tomorrow in support! Where are you guys going? Click HERE for the updated restaurant list. 115 restaurants as of Saturday morning, isn't that incredible?!

Aixois Brasserie
Anton's Taproom
blanc burgers + bottles (Country Club Plaza)
blue bird bistro
Blue Grotto
Café Sebastienne
Café Trio - Trio is doing this all weekend!
Chaz on the Plaza
Classic Cup
Coach’s Bar & Grill (Kansas City)
Coach’s Bar & Grill (Overland Park)
Coal Vines
Duke’s on Grand
EBT Restaurant
Eden Alley
Extra Virgin
Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue (Freight House)
Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue (Country Club Plaza)
Fogo de Chao
Gaslight Grill
Golden Ox
Grand Street Café
Granfalloon Restaurant & Bar
Jasper's Restaurant
Jazz, A Louisiana Kitchen (Kansas City)
Jazz, A Louisiana Kitchen (Legends Outlets Kansas City)
Kona Grill
La Bodega (Kansas City)
La Bodega (Leawood)
Le Fou Frog
Lew’s Grill & Bar
Maker's Mark Bourbon House & Lounge
McFadden’s Sports Saloon 
Michael Smith
Minsky’s Pizza (5105 Main Street)
Mio Italian Trattoria
Nica’s 320
Oklahoma Joe’s (Kansas City)
Oklahoma Joe’s (Leawood)
Oklahoma Joe’s (Olathe)
Osteria Il Centro
Piropos Restaurant
Pizza 51 (Kansas City)
Pizza 51 West (Fairway)
Pizza Bar
Popeyes Louisiana Chicken (all metro locations)
Providence New American Kitchen
Room 39 (Kansas City)
Room 39 (Leawood)
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Seasons 52
Snow & Co.
SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza (Kansas City)
Starker’s Restaurant
Tannin Wine Bar + Kitchen
Tavern at Mission Farms
Tavern in the Village
Tengo Sed Cantina
The Boot
The Capital Grille
The Jacobson
The Kill Devil Club
The Roasterie Café (Kansas City)
The Roasterie Café (Brookside)
The Roasterie Café (Leawood)
The Well Bar Grill & Rooftop
Trezo Mare
V’s Italiano Ristorante
Waldo Pizza
Webster House
Westport Café & Bar
Ya Ya’s Euro Bistro

Servers from The Foundry and McCoy's are donating a percentage of their tips on Saturday. If you can't make it out to one of the 70 restaurants on Saturday, make sure you get out on Sunday! Details can be found here.

This employee-driven event is going to be at the Uptown Theater on March 5, 2013. Details can be found here. I'm guessing this is going to be a shoulder-to-shoulder event with tons of food, live music in every corner and one of the best silent/live auctions you'll ever see. This is going to be one of biggest staff parties you will ever get to be a part of.

A Note from JJ's
"Jimmy and the entire family of JJ's restaurant are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, support and prayers that have rained over us the past few days. We have also been flooded with calls asking where to donate financially to the cause. We wanted to share with you a few thoughts on that.

First, JJ’s has met with our insurance company and we have determined that we’re able to continue to pay our staff wages while we regroup and make decisions about the future. Second, JJ’s is currently working with our friends at Country Club Bank to set up a fund to collect donations. Country Club Bank has offered to waive all fees relating to this fund. All money received by JJ’s for staff assistance, including any money from the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association fundraiser, will be deposited in this fund. This fund will be governed by a board to see that this money is properly distributed to JJ’s staff and related charitable efforts surrounding the fire.

We’ve heard there are other organizations collecting donations on behalf of JJ’s staff and employees, but we would encourage you to consider the Country Club Bank fund to ensure that 100% of the money goes to the right place. We will provide more details via Facebook soon when the fund is ready. No words can describe the grief we're feeling from this tragedy. Our hearts go out to all those affected and their families. Please continue to keep our staff, gas workers, first responders and others in your thoughts and prayers over the coming weeks. Thank you."

You can see the original facebook post here.