Our favorite jazz lounge, Le Piano, transformed into a PPE factory after the coronavirus closed restaurants and bars.
While many restaurants and bars in Chicago have shuttered during the coronavirus outbreak, one business in Rogers Park has transformed its space into something new. Le Piano, a jazz lounge and bar, is now operating as a mask-making factory. At the time of publication, owner Chad Willetts and his team have made over 2,000 masks given away free to the public.
The homemade masks are made from waxed deli paper, something Le Piano already had a lot of when the stay-at-home order went into place. With a PPE shortage in IL, Willett’s quickly mobilized his staff and the community to volunteer at the new mask-making factory.
While the masks aren’t ideal for healthcare workers, they do provide a protective barrier between the public and essential workers at grocery stores, something Willetts is very concerned about. You can find Le Piano’s free masks at Devon Market, Morse Market, and Rogers Park Fruit Market, making them an easy pick-up item for protection while shopping.
The Le Piano team of artists also came together to create music video as a sort of PSA for the importance of PPE in preventing the spread of COVID-19. The video is a reworking of the Fiddler on the Roof song “Matchmaker” and features Le Piano’s incredible musicians.
Le Piano also donated 200 masks to Acclivus, a community health organization that focusses on the health and wellbeing of Chicago’s most vulnerable communities. The masks went to the nonprofit’s field team, who continue to work to prevent community violence, provide resources, and more at a time when vulnerable communities need it most.
Like many other restaurants and bars, Le Piano is experiencing a loss in revenue during this difficult time. Willetts has set up a relief fund for his staff and the artists that usually play at his restaurant seven days a week. If you’d like to donate, you can do so here. You can find out more about Le Piano by reading our article here.
Feature photo courtesy of Le Piano.