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Milwaukee chef Dan Jacobs explains how difficult things are for restaurants right now

We have a special treat for you on this week's episode: We're joined by Dan Jacobs, chef and owner of DanDan and Fool's Errand. In recent years, Jacobs has established himself as one of the city's most prominent advocates for independent restaurants. He also helped form Milwaukee's Independent Restaurant Coalition (MIRC), and is on the leadership of the Main Street Alliance in Wisconsin.

"Restaurants right now are hurting," he told us, explaining that more than 3,000 restaurants in Wisconsin alone didn't receive crucial grants. More than 40% of those restaurants have been forced to lay off employees, and 28% of them are facing potential evictions.

Dan Jacobs | Courtesy photo

This time of the year is always difficult for restaurants, since people go out less in January, February and March, but the Omicron surge has made this year even more difficult than usual. Some restaurants have had to close because so many staff members have been getting sick. "If I could get one thing across to everybody, it's get out there and spend some money this month," Jacobs says.

Hear our complete interview on this week's episode below. We also talk about an experimental new coffee bar at Crossroads Collective and a new hot chicken franchise, Dave's Hot Chicken, that's opening today.

Director of Digital | Radio Milwaukee