You Can’t Eat in Restaurants Right Now, But You Can Buy Their Awesome Merch – Eater Boston

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Where to find Boston-area restaurants’ coolest t-shirts, hoodies, and more
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By now you know the drill: The Massachusetts restaurant industry is largely shut down by the novel coronavirus pandemic, with dine-in service prohibited statewide until at least April 6. Countless restaurant industry workers are out of jobs (support them here), and restaurants are facing immense financial obstacles, trying to stay afloat while only offering takeout and delivery (or temporarily closing altogether).
Aside from ordering takeout and delivery, there’s another way to support restaurants without even leaving home or coming into contact with anyone: Buy gift cards and merch online.
Here’s some of the best apparel and other goodies that local restaurants, bars, and other food and beverage businesses are selling online, from fancy aprons to soft hoodies.
It may make a stranger angry!
All Gracie’s Ice Cream merch is awesome and well-designed. The cone umbrella t-shirt (designed by artist Lauren May / Monster Tea Party) would make a particularly good addition to your closet. The sentence “everything little thing must go wrong” is printed across the back; it’s a throwback to the early ’90s, a lyric from “Tour Song” by Jawbreaker. The front, too, relates to Jawbreaker — it’s a spinoff of the band’s version of the Morton Salt girl, says Gracie’s owner Aaron Cohen. “I love merch so much from my days managing a band into making shirts for all the festivals,” he notes.
Once, an Eater staffer was wearing this t-shirt in public, only to be yelled at by a stranger who insisted that the words on the back were bleak and horrible and why would anyone wear that on a shirt? Make a stranger angry and support your local ice cream shop fashionably for $15. The cone umbrella art is also available on the back of a zip-up hoodie with “ice cream weather” printed on the front. $36. The t-shirt can be shipped; the hoodie is generally for in-store pickup, but “if you ask super nicely” Gracie’s might be able to work out shipping for you.
For Star Wars Day or any day
Union Square cocktail bar Backbar loves Star Wars and always turns Star Wars Day (May 4) into a whole week of celebration. But really, the obsession lasts all year — keep an eye out for Star Wars references throughout the bar’s decor. So it makes perfect sense that Backbar is selling an “Ackbar” t-shirt. Wear it now; wear it in May; wear it year-round. $20.
Backbar also carries pins, hats, gift cards, and raffle tickets (learn more about the raffle) in its online store; all items can be shipped. During the coronavirus-induced closure, 75% of store sales are going directly to the Backbar staff “to support them during this crisis period where they are out of work.”
Seriously, this sweatshirt is the absolute coziest
Since now is the time to hunker down at home as much as possible, why not get cozy in this adorable hoodie from Cambridge bagel shop Bagelsaurus? It features the Bagelsaurus logo, which is obviously a dinosaur with a bagel for a body, and the back says “Cambridge, MA” in light blue lettering.
Email the Bagelsaurus team to place an order, including your sizing info, address, and a phone number where you can be reached in order to go over payment info. The hoodies are $40 each, plus $15 for flat rate shipping via USPS Priority Mail. Unisex sizes from XS to XXL are available, and they run a little small.
Because who knows how long we’ll have to wait for the next Super Cluckin’ Sunday?
When there’s not a global pandemic, Brookline sandwich shop Cutty’s hosts a very popular monthly event: Super Cluckin’ Sunday, featuring two kinds of fried chicken sandwiches. Dates for the next few months are up in the air, given the circumstances, so while you’re waiting for that next fried chicken fix, you can relive the good days with this super cluckin’ tote ($22), designed by Chris E. O’Neill.
For the dog who loves a cheap hot dog and a walk on the waterfront
The late February reopening of Sullivan’s every year is Boston’s official first sign of spring. Now that the restaurant’s 69th season has been interrupted, will spring really arrive this week? Take your dog for a walk — while staying as far away as possible from other humans — and ponder the meaning of hot dogs and spring and fried seafood as your dog sports fashionable Sullivan’s attire ($16.95 for a collar, $19.95 for a leash).
One of the best hot sauces in town
Tawakal Halal Cafe’s story of rebirth is fairly well-known now; the popular Somali restaurant closed in 2011 and ultimately reopened after quite a long hiatus — seven years — moving from one East Boston address to another. The “new” Tawakal is better than ever, and it bottles its own hot sauce. Hot but not too hot, the habanero-and-mango concoction pairs especially well with Tawakal’s sambusas.
Tawakal isn’t currently selling the sauce directly on the web, but it’s an item that you can include in your delivery order via third-party sites like Uber Eats, where it’s priced at $9 for a five-ounce bottle. Order it while you order dinner: Try the sambusas, the tawakal plate (chapati strips in a spiced tomato sauce with a choice of meat), and the shaah (a comforting spiced tea).
Roti, doubles, and Trinidadian heat
One of Dorchester’s beloved roti shops, Singh’s, makes its own fiery hot sauce, and it is an absolutely essential addition to the pantry of any local hot sauce lover. Like with Tawakal’s above, the only way to get the sauce aside from going to the restaurant is to order it as part of a delivery meal. Singh’s is currently working with Grubhub, and a sizable jar of the sauce goes for $10.99. Also order the doubles (spicy and sweet curried chickpeas sandwiched between two pieces of fried dough) and one of the roti dinners.
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