Food  |  News & Politics

There’s a Relief Fund for Cafe Milano Now

The regulars at the Georgetown political-insider hangout know how to raise money for out-of-work staff

Photograph by Dan Swartz.
Coronavirus 2020

About Coronavirus 2020

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Coronavirus has not spared the Georgetown Italian restaurant Cafe Milano, a clubhouse for Washington high society. Like every restaurant in the region, it has had to choose whether to offer delivery and carryout only or to close, and it chose the latter option: A see-and-be-seen spot has an even harder time than other restaurants when it comes to jettisoning the be-seen part of the business.

But unlike most of the boldface names who populate Milano’s dining room, the restaurant’s staff needs help to make it through these dark days. So a crowdfunding effort that features some of the region’s better-connected diners is now afoot to help them out.

The Cafe Milano Team Relief Fund was created on March 23 with a $75,000 goal. By Wednesday morning, it had raised more than $50,000. The names of donors already resemble a particularly robust Playbook “spotted” item—Maureen Dowd, Hilary Rosen, Brett Baier are among them, and Washingtonian learned of the fundraiser via Tammy Haddad.

Milano’s fund is one of many that have sprung up to help hospitality workers in the region. Washington City Paper has published an excellent list of fundraisers dedicated to workers at local restaurants.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.