Following the targeted attack on Dallas police that killed five officers Thursday night, chefs and owners of restaurants and bars around the city came together to offer free food and drinks to police and Dallas Area Rapid Transit officers on Friday.
Brian Luscher, owner of Luscher’s Red Hots and The Grape, decided at 7 a.m. that he was going to do something to give back to the community in the wake of the shootings on Thursday night, the Dallas Observer reported. Several phone calls later, Luscher’s plan to deliver lunch and dinner to over 100 officers was in motion.
Six local restaurants, including Cane Rosso, Unleavened Fresh Kitchen, Two Sisters and Good 2 Go Taco, collaborated to fill a squad room in the Dallas Police Department with a wide range of comfort foods.
“The men and women who walked into the room in their uniforms were so touched that someone wanted to help them,” Jonathan Stirnweis, the general manager and executive chef of Two Sisters Catering, told Yahoo News.
Stirnweis said he was happy to help out and explained that his staff has a rapport with police officers, noting that anywhere from 6 to 24 officers typically eat lunch at their two locations.
“They’re our family. They have always been our family,” Stirnweis said of the Dallas Police Department.
Stirnweis and Luscher initially wanted to bring food to the families waiting in the emergency room at Baylor University Medical Center, where the victims were being treated. When they pitched the idea, however, officials from the hospital said they already had enough support there.
“Brian had a friend in the police department who said the central division could use a hug,” Stirnweis said — and that hug came in form of warm meals. “Food is what we do.”
Additionally, several restaurants in and around Dallas are offering free food and drinks to anyone in uniform.
“I told my staff that anyone in uniform gets a free lunch, dessert bar and hug,” Stirnweis said.
“The police did their job last night. Today it’s our turn to do ours. Any police in uniform can come on down for a free lunch on us,” Braindead Brewing posted on its Facebook page.
Dwight Harvey, owner of Off the Bone barbeque (featured in the video at the top of the page), is among those providing free food to members in uniform. He also fulfilled a caller from California’s request to drive down the street and feed “50 officers in uniform.”
“Other people are coming in, leaving money, and saying ‘Feed any officers that come in.’ So what we’re doing, we’re matching that as well. So any officers that are coming in today or tomorrow, their lunches or dinners are free,” Harvey said.
Luscher, Stirnweis and company will make another trip to the Dallas Police Department on Friday evening to drop off dinner. They also plan on delivering lunch tomorrow and will continue to bring food to the officers for as long as they need it, Stirnweis said. Local chef Katherine Clapner of Dude, Sweet Chocolate will team up with Sharon Van Meter for a larger fundraiser on July 31 for the victims’ families.
“Hopes and prayers, that’s nice, you can do that, but I fix problems and get s*** done,” Luscher said. “That’s what chefs are good at.”