Brooklyn Chop House was doing great business when 2020 started. The restaurant, which contrary to its name is located in lower Manhattan, has a menu that combines a steakhouse and a Chinese restaurant, and its cross-cultural dumplings — stuffed with matzoh ball soup, gyro meat and many other unexpected fillings — had garnered a cult following and sales were surpassing the expectations of owner Stratis Morfogen.
Of course that all changed with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Until then, Brooklyn Chop House, a fine dining restaurant, had only done limited off-premise business, in the form of room service-style delivery to three surrounding high-rises. But Morfogen decided to stay open for takeout and delivery to keep some of his staff employed. And while he was at it, he started delivering meals to hospitals.
The hospitals responded with social media posts that turned into media coverage that turned into donations from other restaurants and suppliers.
By the end of April, Brooklyn Chop House had served 8,000 meals to 16 hospitals, as well as to first responders.
In this video, Morfogen discusses those deliveries, his plans to open an automat-style restaurant called Brooklyn Dumpling Shop in late summer, and the importance of environmentally friendly packaging.
He also has some choice words for public companies that took Paycheck Protection Program loans.
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