By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Apr 07, 2020 at 12:01 PM

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After weeks of waiting for Federal government officials to step in and offer necessary aid to bars and restaurants during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a group of restaurant and bar owners have banded together to create an organization that operates with their best interests in mind.

And they are inviting restaurant owners, bar owners and industry employees to become members, share their stories and lend their voices to fight for collective action.

The Milwaukee Independent Restaurant Coalition (MIRC) was founded, and is currently represented by Daniel Jacobs of JVR Hospitality Group; John Revord of Boone & Crockett, The Cooperage and Snack Boys; Pam Ronnei of Strange Town and Jordan Burich of Voyager.

As stated on their website, the organization aspires to:

  • Provide a forum for representatives from independently owned restaurants and bars in the Milwaukee area to collaborate and communicate about industry issues.
  • Create a central repository to collate and disseminate information about government and nonprofit benefits and grants available to restaurant and bar workers.
  • Unite the voices of the people who own and work in independent restaurants and bars to identify common needs and opportunities for legislative change.
  • Advocate for the establishment of a reliable social and economic safety net that can support Milwaukee restaurants and bars and their workers during times of economic or environmental crisis.

"Our current focus is to unify the many passionate and thoughtful voices out there into one collective movement," says Revord. "So right now, more than anything, we want fellow owners to join up and share their voices."

"The federal response has not been enough," he adds. "The Wisconsin assembly has failed to push any meaningful policy regarding our out of work staff. They have been slow to act, slow to respond and lackluster in their ability to care for those who desperately need it. So we are seeking state legislative changes that not only help keep our doors open in this crisis, but to help prevent this from happening in future crises."

You can follow the Milwaukee Independent Restaurant Coalition on Instagram. To sign on as a member, visit

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.