Helping the Front Line – Virtue Chicago

Bumble and Rapper Common Partner With Hyde Park’s Virtue to Help Health Care Workers

Common’s existing relationship with chef Erick Williams is the reason why the rapper’s foundation picked him for a promotion with the dating app


After pivoting to carryout during the novel coronavirus pandemic, Virtue — Eater Chicago 2019 Restaurant of the Year — has temporarily closed to focus on providing meals to health care providers at University of Chicago and Stroger hospitals. Chef Erick Williams has put community on the forefront for his Hyde Park restaurant that serves a unique take on Southern food.

“If we’re going to be qualified or quantified as essential workers, or categorized as essential workers, what does that mean to the immediate community?” Williams says, referring to the state’s stay-at-home order which allows essential business, like hospitals and grocery stores, to stay open.

Williams and his team at Virtue will deliver 200 meals Thursday afternoon to Stroger. Earlier this month, he began provided meals for workers at University of Chicago Hospital. The public can help the cause by donating to Virtue’s GoFundMe page, which has raised more than $46,000 as of Thursday afternoon. That money will go toward donated meals. Williams says the pace of work has been slow since March 17 when Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker closed all dine-in restaurants and bars to stop the spread of COVID-19. Helping hospitals combating the disease gives Williams a renewed sense of purpose. Restaurant staff were successful converting to takeout only, but now, thanks to investors, they’ll focus on feeding health care workers.


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