In June, as George Floyd’s killing sparked protests, Allison Lane found herself trapped in a house on Swann Street near Dupont Circle—the one that became a safe haven for 70 fellow protesters who had been “kettled” by police and threatened with arrest. Lane, who was then furloughed from the Japanese/Spanish restaurant Cranes in Penn Quarter—quickly started live-tweeting the experience. (It went viral.) “Being a bartender helped me keep calm,” she says.
Within a few days, Lane founded a group called Bar-tenders Against Racism. The organization, which she has now established as a nonprofit, will provide mentorship, training, and resources to Black and minority hospitality workers.
Fellow bartender Kapri Robinson of Petworth’s Reliable Tavern has a similar mission at Chocolate City’s Best, which she formed to boost education opportunities and visibility for BIPOC folks in the bar-and-restaurant world. Her first move: a four-day cocktail competition in October that drew contestants from all over the country.