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A Brief Year in Review: 2020

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By Sophie Brochu
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It’s been a year marked by takeout, outdoor domes, tasting menus to-go, virtual events, cocktail kits, rebuilding, reconcepting, pop-ups, and patios. We’ve seen restaurants feeding industry workers, chefs cooking for hospital employees, and people taking care of one another.

A huge thank you to all of the restaurants, bars, wineries, galleries, and purveyors on Tock. And thank you to everyone who continues to support the hospitality industry that never stops. Here’s a look back through the year in photos. See you in 2021.

Over the summer, Canlis briefly operated at The Canlis Crab Shack. This team wore many hats this year, going from fine-dining to drive-thru. They offered CSA boxes and 4-course family meals. They hosted virtual Bingo night and opened a general store, but most importantly, they kept hospitality alive at a time when we needed it most.

Chef Beverly Kim of Chicago’s Parachute celebrated a birthday in October. Here she is with one of her favorite bottles of bubbles, a 2017 Ravnetos Blanc de Blancs, which you can find on their takeout menu. Parachute delivered exceptional Korean-inspired family meals, giving Chicagoans a reason to celebrate all year long.

When Milwaukee’s Braise reopened for dining in November, they knew they needed a plan for safety and warmth. The farm-to-table restaurant built sun and snow domes, a covered streetside patio, and heated rooftop greenhouses.

Armed with a mask and gloves, chef Gabriel plates at Seven Reasons in Washington, DC. We saw one of the most diverse sets of offerings from this Latin American restaurant. In March, they hit the ground running with a new takeout program, then went on to launch a state-of-the-art cocktail experience and an at-home dining experience called Ceviche on Wheels.

Chefs in action in the stunning kitchen at Smyth. Smyth and The Loyalist kept Chicago well-fed this year with creative takeout menus and their first summer patio. They closed out the year with perhaps one of their best offerings to date, Johnny Good Times’ Smoked Meats BBQ.

“Let us all—restaurants, providers, and most of all customers—take the opportunity to rebuild for a better future,” said chef Russell Jackson back in August. He spent the following months rebuilding operations at Reverence by offering curated bento boxes, batched cocktails, holiday meals, and kits to feed the community in Harlem and beyond.

Located in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown, Mister Jiu‘s wasted no time launching takeout in March. They started with premade meals, individually cryovaced, prepared by a team of five, and made with ingredients from the team’s favorite farms. Mister Jiu’s closed out the year by selling out of their 5-course New Year’s Eve tasting menu.

The team at Young Joni held Taco Tuesday pop-ups in the parking lot of their Minneapolis restaurant, where they could safely feed the community. And that’s not all. They served thoughtful family meals, kimchi by the pint, award-winning wood-fired pizzas, quarts of soup, cocktail kits, and bottles of wine.

Atlanta’s beloved Staplehouse converted from a restaurant to a marketplace, where they could safely offer delicious provisions, beer and wine, pastries, and takeout meals. They also cooked up some incredible smoked brisket (pictured), launched a wine club, and sold some fantastic condiment gift sets over the holidays.

Chef Fabio Trabocchi’s Del Mar built some of Washington, DC’s loveliest waterfront winter igloos, so guests could continue to enjoy fine Spanish fare in a safe and beautiful environment. Del Mar heroically operated multiple services (brunch, lunch, and dinner), while offering takeout and paella party packs.

This year saw the launch of galleries on Tock, including the Michigan-based David Klein Gallery, which specializes in contemporary art. By using Tock, galleries could ensure proper distancing. Here, artists Mario Moore and Conrad Egyir admire Marianna Olague’s painting titled, “Memorial Park.”

Chef Ismael Macias cuts fillets of lingcod at San Francisco’s Four Star Seafood & Provisions. This year, Tock also welcomed purveyors and farmers with hopes of connecting them to more consumers at a time when restaurant orders were stalled. You can find sashimi kits, chef boxes, butcher boxes, and more from Four Star Seafood & Provisions.


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