Red Herring Restaurant Takes ‘Extended Break’ Due to Losses | Coronavirus



URBANA – Vegetarian restaurant Red Herring, which has been on the University of Illinois at Urbana campus for more than half a century, has announced it will not reopen after winter recess, as hoped , due to losses linked to the pandemic.

Red Herring’s Facebook post this week said donations were being sought in hopes of reopening at a later date.

“Our financial losses over the past year + of the pandemic are forcing us to stay closed after the winter break, and we just don’t know yet when we’ll be ready to reopen,” the post said. “But with your help; we will reopen!

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The Red Herring, 1209 W. Oregon St., U, is a food justice and education mission of the Channing Murray Foundation nonprofit at the same address, according to Foundation Executive Director Emily McKown.

The restaurant was not open for in-person meals throughout the pandemic, but continued to serve via a take-out window and dining club service, she said.

The foundation had hoped the restaurant could reopen fully after the University of Illinois’ winter recess, she said.

Like many other restaurants, state aid has helped Red Herring get through 2020, McKown said, but that “has dried up this year.”

The more donations the foundation receives to help Red Herring, she said, the sooner it can reopen.

All staff except the manager were laid off last week, McKown said.

“Even though we have to take an extended break to get back on our feet, we are proud of what we accomplished during a pandemic and happy that we were able to stay open as long as we did,” the Facebook post continued. .

The Red Herring was started in 1967 as a cafe, gathering place and haven for “round the clock activism,” according to its website.

The website also states that Red Herring has a rich history as a center of art and creativity, hosting live music, exhibits, open mics and in-house productions, and supporting activist groups and artists. creative ‘throughout our radically inclusive space and collaborative events. “



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