It simply isn’t possible to give a shout-out to every local restaurant or bar that interrupted its business to donate and deliver food or collect goods to be distributed to help victims and first responders in the wake of the October 1 mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip. It seems as if the entire culinary community converged in minutes to pitch in and help out.
The night after the tragedy, a coalition of local chefs and volunteers took a food truck to Spring Valley Hospital to serve free meals to patients, doctors, nurses, police officers and anyone else who was hungry. Naked City Pizza fired up the ovens at its Las Vegas Motor Speedway concession and delivered slices all over town. Strip restaurants like Aureole and Momofuku assembled box lunches, and an impromptu army of industry people and their friends and family organized via WhatsApp, instructing volunteers where to pick up and deliver meals. When Downtown’s Evel Pie ran out of food to donate, it started collecting toiletries and other items to distribute, and it hasn’t stopped.
Every kind of eatery has provided free or discounted meals to first responders, from the old Bootlegger to the brand-new Burgerim, from the recently opened Canter’s Deli at Tivoli Village to the neighborhood favorite Daily Kitchen. And local spots weren’t the only ones; Ben & Jerry’s and Nothing Bundt Cakes shops contributed all of their Saturday proceeds to the victims’ fund, and Chick-fil-A offered free meals to first responders, too.
For those who work in the industry, this outpouring of support isn’t a surprise. They’re just doing what they always do—take care of people. The word “hospitality” doesn’t seem to cover it.