Originally published in the Summer + Fall 2020 issue.
Arcana Restaurant in Boulder pioneered giving back in the restaurant sphere; it launched “Arcana from Afar,” which provides a pay-what-you-can community food service to those in need, on March 17, 2020. This service has been available Wednesday through Saturday every week through the pandemic.
“One thing we do know, the service of feeding people in need will be essential. It is hard to overstate that,” Arcana wrote in a Facebook post before starting the program. “We are in this together.”
We are in this together.
Every week Arcana uploads a new menu with fresh dishes offered on a sliding scale, beginning at 0 dollars. Items include Red Lentils & Basmati Rice to Duck Leg Confit and the renowned Arcana Burger.
All gratuity directly supports laid off hourly staff. Arcana stresses this mission is not about saving the restaurant, but supporting their workers and the community.
Conscious Alliance, a hunger relief nonprofit, paired Arcana with 40 underprivileged families who receive a meal from the restaurant each day. Additionally, in partnership with World Central Kitchen, Arcana donates 400 meals a week to frontline workers — from hospital staff to fire fighters.
“It’s nice to have a purpose,” shares Jordan Burghardt, general manager. “It’s rewarding for us. Everyone that’s working here is in good spirits.”
Arcana stresses that if you can afford it, to consider supporting other local restaurants as well.