Los Angeles’ first Mexican restaurant, El Cholo, is joining the fight for racial justice.
On June 11, all dine-in sales from their three LA locations will be donated to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (a legal organization fighting for racial justice) and local businesses that have sustained damages from looting.
That’s because 2020 is not the first time the restaurant has served as a backdrop to civil unrest. Established in 1923, El Cholo has survived the Great Depression, World War II, and the 1992 LA Riots.
“Every night at 6 o’clock I’d have to go home because of curfew and I’d lay there in bed wondering, when I come back in the morning, is this restaurant going to be there or am I going to see something burned to the ground?” owner Ron Salisbury said.
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The restaurant sustained damages, but when it opened back up, customers came back.
“I saw that period. I saw how people came together and it was so gratifying for me to see all these people in harmony from all different backgrounds,” Salisbury said.
The sight served as inspiration for the business to keep going this year, too, even though it had been forced to close because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re gonna make it through this, because we have people who have been dining with us for generations,” Salisbury said.
Now, El Cholo’s commitment to the community extends into the fight for racial justice. Proceeds will go to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which “seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans” through litigation, advocacy, and public education.
Salisbury said Thursday’s fundraiser will help people say, “Someone out there cares, someone else believes in us, and it’ll help them come back again.”