Illinois restaurants will have another layer of protection from predatory delivery apps starting January 1, 2023, when the Fair Food and Retail Delivery Act, signed into law last Friday by Governor J.B. Pritzker, goes into effect. The law prohibits third-party delivery apps from posting menus, logos, or any other intellectual property of restaurants without their express written consent; if they do, restaurants can sue for damages of $5,000, whichever is greater.
Posting menus without permission is a common practice among the delivery apps. In 2020, two restaurants in California and North Carolina filed a class action lawsuit against Grubhub for listing 150,000 restaurants without their permission, causing “significant damage to their hard-earned reputations, loss of control over their customers’ dining experiences, loss of control over their online presence, and reduced consumer demand for their services.” A spokesperson for Grubhub told Eater at the time that the app was only trying to help bring attention to non-partnered restaurants, but it would remove listings if the restaurants requested it — though that would require restaurant owners to know about the listings in the first place. Seamless, UberEats, DoorDash, and Postmates have similar policies.
New Illinois law forbids latex gloves in food prep
In other Illinois legislative news, a ban on latex gloves in restaurants and other places where people are preparing food for public consumption was signed into law this past Tuesday, June 14. The measure was designed to protect people with allergies to latex and it will go into effect for food service and EMS workers on January 1, 2023, and health care facility personnel on January 4, 2024.
Innertown Pub to reopen Thursday after nine months of structural renovations
Innertown Pub, the neighborhood tavern in Ukrainian Village that the city shut down for nearly nine months over a series of building code citations, will reopen Thursday, June 16. In September 2021, city inspectors found building violations including hazardous electrical conditions and claimed that raw sewage was leaking into the bar’s basement. Owner Denis Fogarty, however, contends that the latter claim is inaccurate, telling Block Club Chicago that the business never had plumbing issues. Nevertheless, Innertown has undergone structural renovations during its temporary closure, though most will be invisible to customers, Fogarty tells reporters.
Fifty Black-owned Chicago restaurants to offer specials for Juneteenth
Many of Chicago’s Black restaurant are deep into preparations for Juneteenth, a holiday on June 19 that marks the day the final group of enslaved Black people in Texas learned about their liberation after the Civil War. This is the first year that Juneteenth will be recognized as an official holiday in Illinois. A group of 50 restaurants across the city will participate in an annual Juneteenth campaign led by Black People Eats, an Instagram account and database run by Jeremy Joyce that highlights hospitality businesses owned by African Americans. Participants will feature holiday specials priced at $6.19, $16.19 or $26.19. Brown Sugar Bakery owner Stephanie Hart has already sold 1,000 slices of her celebratory Heritage Cake, a green, black, and red velvet cake decorated to resemble the African American flag, according to the Tribune. In 2021, Black-owned restaurants in Chicago and Atlanta successfully generated more than $1 million on Juneteenth, sailing past Joyce’s goal for the initiative. Block Club has a complete list of the city’s Juneteenth festivals.
Starbucks workers in Bucktown vote to unionize
Pro-labor Starbucks workers on Tuesday successfully voted to unionize their cafe at Armitage and Hoyne in Bucktown in a 15-1 election, employees announced on Twitter. Their win comes on the heels of a rollercoaster of Starbucks elections across Chicago: In early June, cafe workers at 55th and Woodlawn in Hyde Park voted to unionize, while baristas and shift supervisors in the Loop (155 N. Wabash) and Logan Square (2543 N. California), voted against organizing efforts.
A champion cheesemonger brings a big prize home to Logan Square
A specialty cheese shop and restaurant in Logan Square is now home to the best cheesemonger in the U.S. Cara Condon, the event coordinator at Beautiful Rind (2211 N. Milwaukee Avenue), won the 2022 Cheesemonger Invitational over the weekend in New York City, owner Randall Felts announced on Instagram.