Since this past weekend, Capitol Hill has been one of the main hubs for Seattle demonstrations, sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed while in Minneapolis police custody. And restaurants in the neighborhood are displaying support by providing food, drinks, and supplies.
Earlier this week, Pagliacci Pizza handed out water to passing marchers to passing marchers, and on Thursday, Korean fried chicken specialist Bok a Bok offered free sandwiches and drinks at its outpost on 10th Ave, not too far away from Cal Anderson Park, the site of several demonstrations.
Other restaurants have become drop-off points for donated medical kits and other supplies. The Italian cocktail destination Artusi has coordinated with natural wine bar La Dive and art gallery/bar Vermillion on such an effort, which includes storing surplus items for medics to pick up and transport closer to the protest lines. Cafe Pettirosso had a sign-making station; Optimism Brewing offered phone charging, bathroom breaks, and supplies.
“We are also compiling a master list of free COVID-19 testing centers in the area for protesters to access health resources,” Artusi general manager Angela Lopez tells Eater Seattle. “Our staff has been active in protesting and donating and organizing supplies.”
This on-the-ground support for protesters from the restaurant community follows solidarity on social media and donations to social justice causes. It has also comes as demonstrations in the city continue to build momentum, earning some concessions from Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best, who recently ended the citywide curfew that had been in place since Saturday, although many demands — such as defunding the police department — have still not been fully addressed.
Tensions between protesters and police have risen and fallen through the scene on Capitol Hill, where officers fired tear gas and flash-bang grenades earlier this week. The past couple of nights in the neighborhood appeared to be calmer, as real-time reports from citizen journalist Omari Salisbury and the blog Capitol Hill Seattle have shown. On Thursday night, there was even some live music to entertain the marchers — and moments of celebration.
With protests expected to continue over the weekend, many eyes will be on that area yet again. Local restaurants are geared up to continue helping.