New York Deli Sells Out of T-shirts After Jake Gyllenhaal's Viral Video
The service industry has been one of the hardest hit industries in the U.S. as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some have been able to keep things as normal as possible through outdoor dining, but others have had to rely on things like take-home kits and merchandise.
Especially at the beginning of the pandemic, when restaurants were completely closed in a lot of cities, people supported their local restaurants by buying branded merchandise.
We’re not out of the woods yet, but things are getting better and restaurants are keeping their doors open. But, movie star Jake Gyllenhaal is making sure we don’t get complacent, and also helping out one of his favorite restaurants in the process.
Gyllenhaal posted a video in April on social media of him doing a handstand and putting on a T-shirt from New York restaurant and deli Russ & Daughters.
Months later, Gyllenhaal and Russ & Daughters have teamed up to rerelease the T-shirt, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Independent Restaurant Coalition, a new lobbying group that works to provide federal and state support for small restaurants.
Don’t miss your chance to get the tee of the summer – a tie-dye t-shirt collaboration by Jake Gyllenhaal and @LoxPopuli! All proceeds will benefit the IRC and our fight to #SaveRestaurants. https://t.co/oK6mrwFgpi
— Independent Restaurant Coalition (@IndpRestaurants) August 22, 2020
“New York City will not be the same if our favorite restaurants go away,” Gyllenhaal said in a statement to GQ. “I can’t imagine our city without Russ & Daughters, just the same way countless small restaurants, bars, coffee shops and distilleries across the country form the backbone of their communities.”
Apparently, Gyllenhaal had been the restaurant’s most valuable billboard, as he routinely wore it around the city.
“Every time he would wear this in public, we would get flooded with emails and calls like, ‘Oh my god, can I buy one of those shirts? Do you make those shirts?’” Niki Russ Federman, co-owner of Russ & Daughters, told GQ. “I realized we should do this, we should make the shirt and put it out there. Because Iw ant the world, first of all, to understand how particularly dire the situation is for restaurants and what that means for our country and for everyone who is going to lose their neighborhood joint.”
The T-shirt went up for sale on the restaurant’s e-commerce platform for $40 and, to no one’s surprise, is sold out.
In the meantime, New Yorkers can go get a bagel and lox from the locations in the Lower East Side and Upper East Side. It won’t be quite as stylish as the tie-dye T-shirt, but it still has Jake G’s stamp of approval, and it probably tastes better, too.