Santa Barbara, CA – Melville Winery, located in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation of Santa Barbara County, has joined forces with restaurateurs Caroline Styne (The Lucques Group) and Bobby Stuckey, M.S. (The Frasca Hospitality Group), and mixologist, Ivy Mix (Leyenda), to raise awareness and resources for the Independent Restaurant Coalition. Chad Melville, winegrower at the family’s eponymously named winery, has donated a portion of the winery’s popular Syrah to the IRC, bottling it under a limited-edition charitable label. Under 250 cases of Melville’s exclusive 2019 “Save Restaurants” Syrah has been bottled specifically for this collaborative effort, with the bottles donning the IRC’s emblematic robin’s egg blue and bright yellow “heart” label.
The IRC was founded by independent restaurant and bar owners around the country to save small hospitality-oriented businesses affected by Covid-19 and the economic shutdown that followed. The IRC also represents restaurant employees and suppliers, many of whom lost their jobs immediately (and in many cases indefinitely) during the pandemic. Eleven million people nationwide are directly employed by independent restaurants, as are an additional five million workers up and down the food supply and delivery chain who depend on restaurants for their livelihood.
Styne, Stuckey and Mix, among many other high-profile restaurateurs, chefs, and bartenders, are raising awareness for the Restaurant Act of 2020, which would make available 120 billion dollars in assistance for the Independent Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The RESTAURANTS Act was introduced on a bipartisan basis in both the Senate by Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and in the House by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR 3) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA 1).
“Restaurants and bars are not only the backbone of the wine industry, they are also vital cultural centers for our society. These are places where we gather and commune with friends and strangers. It’s time for us to serve an industry that has been serving our culture for decades upon decades,” says Melville, adding, “this is an uncertain time, but it’s at times like these that we need to mobilize and help each other. Over 11 million jobs are at stake.”
To learn more about the Independent Restaurant Coalition and what you can do to support, please visit saverestaurants.com.