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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Worried About the STL Food Scene? Contact Elected Officials

Posted By on Tue, Mar 17, 2020 at 1:35 PM

click to enlarge Missouri Governor Mike Parson addresses reporters in September 2018. - TOM HELLAUER
  • Missouri Governor Mike Parson addresses reporters in September 2018.

Since Sunday, the number of St. Louis bars and restaurants that have voluntarily chosen to suspend their dine-in operations or temporarily close altogether to prevent the spread of coronavirus has been staggering.

In some cases, restaurants have transitioned to exclusively offer delivery or carryout services for now, although even those changes seem like short-term solutions during this ongoing emergency.

The hospitality professionals who have made these financially devastating decisions to protect public health should be commended for their choices. They are sacrificing their incomes and security — and so the least we can do is show them support in their great time of need.

Many restaurant owners have posted publicly about writing Missouri Governor Mike Parson and U.S. senators Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley to request aid during this unprecedented and crushing time for the restaurant industry.

Leaders in the St. Louis restaurant scene currently calling upon state officials include Gerard Craft of Niche Food Group and Mark Hinkle of Olive + Oak and Clover and the Bee, among many others. The Riverfront Times reached out to Hinkle with a request to share an edited version of his letter to these state officials for readers who would like to easily copy and paste the same sentiments in a letter.

If you are also gravely concerned about our local food scene and how our city's tourism and economy will fare in the event of permanent mass restaurant closures following the containment of COVID-19, let Governor Parson and senators Blunt and Hawley know.

Here are boilerplate PDFs outlining the above concerns for our local restaurant industry, which you can easily sign and send Parson, Blunt and Hawley (contact info for their offices follows below as well):

Here is the letter for Governor Parson:

Here is the same letter addressed to Senator Blunt:

And here is the same letter addressed to Senator Hawley:

Finally, here is contact info for the offices of Parson, Blunt and Hawley:

Office of Governor Michael L. Parson
P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Phone: 573-751-3222
Fax: 573-751-1495

Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse
C/O U.S. Senator Roy Blunt
111 South 10th Street Suite 23.305
St. Louis, MO 63102
Phone: 314-725 4484

Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse
U.S. Senator Josh Hawley
111 South 10th Street, Suite 23.360
St. Louis, MO 63102
Phone: 314-354-7060
Fax: 1 314-436-8534

Follow Liz Miller on Twitter at @lizzaymillah. We are always hungry for tips and feedback. Email the author at
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