Were you heartbroken when your favorite restaurant closed, and then ecstatic when it reopened, only to be traumatized when it closed again? If that is how you feel, imagine what the owner behind the counter is going through. I didn’t understand myself until I met Chef Russell Jackson.
This was back in March, in the early days of our new Zoom reality, and I was there to inform Jackson, the owner of the Harlem restaurant Reverence, that his business was one of the first recipients of Hello Alice’s $10,000 Covid-19 Business for All Emergency grant program to help small businesses through the pandemic. These calls are always emotional, but he seemed at a loss for words. Russell paused for a moment before turning to call his wife and son into the camera frame. “This is our motivation,” he told me, looking down at his child sitting in his lap.