DETROIT (WLNS) – The Whitney, one of Michigan’s Most Iconic Restaurants, has created a program to pay it forward to front line workers, from medical professionals to public safety officers, food service professionals and other support staff. The Grill Box program that they’ve implemented at the restaurant donates gift cards to The Whitney, for recipients to enjoy when the restaurant reopens.
“Not being able to welcome guests into the mansion is what really hurts us,” Duey said, referencing the shut down. Typically, it’s like dining in a museum at The Whitney, but not a stuffy one. “There’s a lot of history there, the building being erected by a lumber baron, David Whitney, back in 1893, and it’s been a restaurant now for a little bit over 30 years.”
During regular times, The Whitney is a spot for special occasions, romantic dinners, and to experience a little bit of Old Detroit. “To be able to take a tour, and learn about the architecture, and sort of step back in time a little bit, to what it would have been like when Detroit was the Paris of the Americas,” Duey said. “Detroit was the center of the industrial world at the turn of the century, and to be in a building that reflects that kind of majesty is pretty awesome. It’s a beautiful place.”
The historical aspect to The Whitney was just one reason why we named them one of Michigan’s Most Iconic Restaurants, their incredible cuisine was another major factor. During the pandemic, while the dining rooms remain closed at The Whitney, in addition to offering some virtual historical tours you can enjoy, they are still selling some special food to-go, and donating gift cards back at the same time.
The Grill Box program consists of a box of speciality foods from the Whitney, that you can prepare at home. Depending on the week, they typically contain a few steaks, steak seasoning, wine selected by The Whitney’s sommelier, and a few things to have a fun night in. “I had one last night and it was absolutely fabulous,” Duey told us.
The Whitney sells the grill boxes for $100, and for every one sold they give a hundred dollar gift card to support staff to be used at The Whitney in the future.
“The reason we did that, is that nurses, doctors, the kind of front line people, they’re getting lots of accolades, and a lot of recognition.But the guys who are working in food service at the hospital, the ones who are cleaning the floors, and doing security, and working the reception tables, they’re not getting the same type of publicity. But they’re taking the same risks, taking the same chances, leaving their families every day, to go in and support this effort. We wanted to have a unique way to recognize them.
The Whitney has sold over 3,000 Grill Boxes since they started the program, and have handed over $35,000 in gift cards for these valuable employees to come and enjoy a meal on them when they reopen.
The Whitney has donated to Henry Ford Hospital, and the Wayne State University security team so far during the pandemic.
The $100 gift cards will cover a complete meal for these front line workers, in a one of the finest dining settings in Detroit.
This article is adapted from MLive.