Boston company claims to be a fundraiser for Chicago restaurants

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Boston-based company operating under the guise of “Purely Chicago” purchased the domain name helpchicagorestaurants.com for sale t-shirts with artwork featuring slices of deep pizza and a baseball pennant featuring the blue and red Chicago Cubs design. The company used targeted Facebook ads that link users to the site, claiming that “all proceeds from each shirt will be donated to a specific fund that the Illinois Restaurant Association has set up for this fundraiser.”

But an IRA representative told Eater Chicago that it had nothing to do with fundraising or the “Purely Chicago” group, and that they were now taking “the appropriate steps to shut down their business in whatever title “.

Since spring 2020, hundreds of restaurants and bars across the country have asked the public for help as these places try to stay viable and pay workers during the pandemic. Donations have helped restaurants during government-mandated pandemic closures. However, not all donation requests are what they seem.

The Purely Chicago brand dates back to a sports site called Purely Boston, who set up a similar t-shirt fundraiser in New England to benefit the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. The association confirms that it is aware of the fundraising indicated on helpmassrestaurants.com. On this site, company owner Jonathan Holden posted a note urging the Bostonian to buy shirts: “Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re a Bostonian Dunkin ‘Drinkin’ Wicked Pissah Who loves the roots and community of his hometown. “

On the Chicago site, the note appears with an edited line: “Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re a deep dish eating” I hate the cold Chicagoan “who loves his city’s roots native and her community. “

The two models of shirts are from a Boston artist. A message to Purely Boston requesting comment was not immediately returned.


And in other news …

– Contributors to Lou Malnati’s, the popular deep-dish pizza chain, criticized by the Netflix show Emilie in Paris, are considering a sale of the business, Bloomberg News reported on Friday. The company could be valued at up to $ 700 million, an anonymous source told reporters at Bloomberg. Originally founded in 1971, the company now operates over 50 locations and ships items direct to consumers.

– The Fast-Casual Roti chain is closing six of its branches in Illinois as part of further downsizing. The chain recently opened larger stores in places such as Lincoln Park, suitable for strolling. However, downtown locations have not performed as well as office workers continue to work from home during the pandemic. the Tribune has details.

Washington post food critic Tom Sietsema mourns the losses of his Chicago brothers in a story about how the former Tribune The departures of ABC 7 Chicago critic Phil Vettel and Steve Dolinsky will affect the city’s national reputation. The story avoids the trap of reducing Chicago’s food scene to deep pizza (a frequent habit of national publications), but it also didn’t consider the effects of Alden Capital Group overlooking the Tribune like the death star. However, there might be some good news on this thanks to a new paper purchase offer. One note, Mr. Sietsema: this is Eater Chicago, not Chicago Eater.

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