Help a Local Restaurant by Buying a Gift “Bond” Card

This is a creative way to support local restaurants during a difficult time.

Looking for ways to help restaurants? Buy a restaurant bond. Eight local businesses are currently part of a program that allows diners to buy a $25 “restaurant bond” gift card to be used when the “bond” matures this summer. It’s not a savings bond; it merely works off of that idea. By buying the cards now, you’re making an investment in the restaurant’s future. In June, the card is worth $30; in July, $35; and in August and beyond, $40. 

The idea was co-created by Lazy Susan owner AJ Dixon. She is struggling to keep her Bay View restaurant open even for carryout orders. But helping her employees, she says, is her top priority. “We’re pooling tips,” Dixon says of her strategy. “Everyone was making $7.70 an hour. [By pooling tips,] we bumped it up so everyone is making $20 an hour. I’m trying to pay them as much as we can. The rest will go in the emergency tip fund.” Lazy Susan closed on Wednesday to regroup. On Thursday night, she was offering Lazy TV dinners. On Saturday, she’ll have duck pot pie, available par-baked. She also is trying to not promise too much, because she needs to buy less from her purveyors and what if that goes to waste? 

To buy the bonds, just send an email to the addresses listed below for each participating restaurant. The restaurants will either mail a physical gift card or certificate, or send you an e-gift card. For Lazy Susan, click here to buy.

Odd Duck | 2352 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee, WI | email melissa@oddduckrestaurant.com

La Finca Coffehouse | 3558 E. Sivyer Ave., St Francis, WI | email coffee@lafinca.cafe

The Pasta Tree Restaurant & Wine Bar | 1503 N. Farwell Ave, Milwaukee, WI purchase online (just note “Restaurant Bond” in Special instructions)

Cloud Red 4488 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood, WI | email cloudredmke@gmail.com

Classic Slice | 2797 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee, WI  email Pizza.pony27@gmail.com

The Tandem | 1848 W. Fond Du Lac Ave., Milwaukee, WI  email Caitcull@gmail.com

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Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.