DC Restaurants Closed Thursday for ‘Day Without Immigrants' Strike

Several restaurants in D.C. closed as demonstrators stayed home or took to the streets to protest the immigration policies of President Donald Trump and to show the importance of immigrants in our daily lives. 

Restaurant owners José Andrés and Andy Shallal closed all of their restaurants Thursday to express solidarity for immigrants. All six locations of Busboys and Poets will be closed, along with Jaleo, Oyamel and Zaytinya.

Busboys and Poets' 600 employees were allowed to use a vacation day.

Shallal, who immigrated from Iraq, said he needed to be involved. 

"As an immigrant myself, I could not stand on the sidelines and watch the rest of my staff not be here. I wanted to make sure we are in solidarity with them," he said. 

In the Bloomingdale neighborhood, the restaurant Boundary Stone is open but with a limited menu as its kitchen staff is away. 

"We decided to give them a paid day off, and we will be in the kitchen," owner Colin McDonough said about he and his business partner. 

Some local businesses are standing by their workers by closing or scaling back service to protest President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. As News4’s Meagan Fitzgerald shows us, Thursday is being called “A Day Without Immigrants.”

The kitchens of Brookland Pint, Meridian Pint and Smoke & Barrel are closed but the bars are open, owner John Andrade wrote on Facebook.

"As a Latino business owner I stand in solidarity with all of my immigrant staff. Therefore, we will close our kitchen this Thursday in support of our immigrant staff's desire and right to protest the evolving state of immigration policies in our country," he wrote.

Several restaurants inside the Pentagon also closed because of the strike, a Pentagon spokesperson said. Sbarro's, Starbucks, Taco Bell, Qdoba and Burger King are among the restaurants the Pentagon belives will be closed. 

One flier circulating online calls for all immigrants to not attend work on Thursday and also to keep their businesses closed, not send their children to school and not shop.

"To the president: without us and our contribution this country is paralyzed!!!!" the flier says.

As some protesters sat at home, others took to the street. 

Many Languages One Voice, a group that facilitates community-led initiatives in D.C., marched from its headquarters on Mt Pleasant Street NW to the White House.

Some protesters carried a banner that read, "They will not build borders in our community."

At least one D.C. school, Latin American Montessori Bilingual (LAMB) Public Charter School, is closed because teachers and staff are protesting.

VIDA Fitness, which runs six gyms in D.C., told members they will modify operations on Thursday so that employees can participate in the strike.

Other businesses owned by Urban Adventures Companies (UAC), VIDA Fitness' parent company, are opening but will be "highly impacted," a representative said. UAC comapnies include Bang Salon and Aura Spa. 

"We support [immigrant workers] absence today and will work to minimize disruption to our members, but recognize that any interruptions in service today are a testament to the essential service they bring our team," read a statement from UAC. 

Immigrants make up about 26 percent of the District's total workforce, according to data from D.C.’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer. The restaurant industry has a massive concentration of immigrants. Seventy-one percent of D.C. chefs and head cooks are immigrants along with 61 percent of lower-ranked cooks in the city.

Here's a running list of restaurants and bars that are closed and have changes to service because of the boycott: 


Acqua al 2 (D.C.)

Amici Miei Ristorante (Potomac)

Arepa Zone (D.C.)

Ari's Diner (D.C.)

Bad Saint (D.C.)

Bangkok Golden (D.C.)

BLT Steak (D.C.)

Blue 44 (D.C.)

Brookland’s Finest (D.C.)

Bub and Pop's

Busboys and Poets (All Locations)

Cancun Restaurant (Gaithersburg)

Chase the Submarine (Vienna)

Circa (all locations)

Clare and Don’s Beach Shack (Falls Church)

Co Co. Sala (D.C.)

Comet Ping Pong (D.C.)

Craft Kombucha (D.C.)

Daikaya (D.C.)

DC Dosa (D.C.)

DC Empanadas (D.C.)

Denson Liquor Bar (D.C.)

Dock FC (D.C.)

El Tamarindo (D.C.)

El Sol (D.C.)

Ella's Pizza (D.C.)

Flight Wine Bar (D.C.)

Ghibellina (D.C.)

Hank's Oyster Bar (locations in Capitol Hill, Dupont and Old Town)

Hank's Pasta Bar (Alexandria)

Harold Black (D.C.)

Himitsu (D.C.)

Jaleo (locations in D.C., Bethesda and Arlington)

Jetties (all locations except Eye Street)

La Puerta Verde (D.C.)

Le Caprice (D.C.)

Maso (D.C.)

Mike’s Deli at Lazy Sundae (Falls Church)

Mezcalero (D.C.)

Nido (D.C.)

Open Road (Falls Church)

Oyamel Cocina Mexicana (D.C.)

Peacock Café (D.C.)

Pizzeria Paradiso (D.C. and Alexandria)

Pupatella (Arlington)

Purple Patch (D.C.)

Rappahannock Oyster Bar (D.C.)

The Red Hen (D.C.)

Sardi's Pollo A La Brasa (all locations)

Sakuramen (D.C.)

Sotto (D.C.)

Surfside (D.C.)

TaKorean (all locations)

Texas Parrillada (Gaithersburg)

Thip Khao (D.C.)

Toki Underground (D.C.)

Toli Moli (D.C.)

Trio Grill (Falls Church)

Veloce (D.C.)

Vida Fitness (D.C.)

Zaytinya (D.C.) 

Service Changes:

All-Purpose (D.C., closed for lunch, reopens for dinner)

BLT Print (D.C., limited reservations and limited menu)

Boundary Road (D.C., kitchen will be closed)

Boundary Stone (D.C., limited menu from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.)

Brookland Pint (D.C., kitchen will be closed)

Capital City Brewing (D.C. location bar will open at 5 p.m., kitchen will remain closed. Arlington location will be closed all day)

Cork Wine Bar (D.C., serving limited menu)

Dew Drop Inn (D.C., kitchen will be closed)

El Chucho (D.C., kitchen will be closed)

Espita Mezcaleria (D.C., kitchen will be closed)

Ivy and Coney (D.C., kitchen will be closed)

Meridian Pint (D.C., kitchen will be closed)

Nanny O’Brien’s (D.C., kitchen will be closed)

Room 11 (D.C., kitchen will be closed)

Smoke & Barrel (D.C., kitchen will be closed)

Southern Efficiency (D.C., kitchen will be closed)

The Wonderland Ballroom (D.C., kitchen will be closed)

Eater also is keeping a list of which businesses will be closed.

Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.

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