One of the greatest things about the small business community in Richmond is that it’s just that – a community. The city and surrounding counties have always enjoyed a strong and vibrant network of small businesses that support each other through good times, and as we are experiencing right now, tough times. It’s part of what makes the city great, and why Retail Merchants was originally founded.

During a time when that support is perhaps needed more than ever before, one business is answering the call and paying it forward. While staff meals or shift meals are nothing new in the restaurant industry, Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint on Grove Avenue is putting a unique twist on it with JB’s Together Tuesday (#JBsTogetherTuesday.)

Launched in August, JB’s Together Tuesday endeavors to get back to the roots of the hospitality business. Each week the Jack Brown’s team shares a family meal which was purchased from another local restaurant. The program is a way of supporting others in the industry while also showing appreciation for their staff’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic – although they do plan to continue the program once things “return to normal.”

staff members pose with Mexican food

Members of the Jack Brown’s team with food from Kahlo’s Taqueria & Bar.

“At the very beginning I was just seeing so many restaurants struggling,” said Ray Forthuber, Jack Brown’s Joint Manager. “Restaurants need to help each other and show the same spirit that got us into this industry.”

Jack Brown’s keeps an internal running document of restaurants to order take-out from each Tuesday and each restaurant they order from gets a shout out with pictures on the Jack Brown’s social media platforms.

A screen shot of what they share about the restaurant on social media.

Jack Brown’s posts about each restaurant they order from for Together Tuesdays.

“It’s fun for the crew because they get a free meal every week and we get to promote other local businesses,” said Forthuber. “We are fortunate that we have a lot of social media engagement.”

Team member stand outside of Rosie Connelly's restaurant.

The Jack Browns team picks up dinner from Rosie Connelly’s in Shockoe Bottom.

Restaurants throughout the area are chosen primarily through word of mouth, though some have started reaching out directly. This week the Jack Brown’s team dined on Irish fare from Rosie Connelly’s Irish Pub which sits along the 17th Street Farmer’s Market in Shockoe Bottom. Previous restaurants have included Kahlo’s Taqueria & Bar as well as Oak & Apple.

The program was born out of a brainstorm session in the Richmond restaurant but is now being done at all locations of the Virginia based company. Founded in Harrisonburg, Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint is located “along the avenues” at 5810 Grove Avenue in Richmond. They specialize in 100% natural Wagyu beef (American Kobe) hamburgers and feature more than 100 types of beers in stock at all times. To learn more about their story visit their website.