Bubba's Bones and Brews was one of eight local restaurants to get a California Restaurant Foundation Restaurants Care Resilience Fund grant. Credit: Andrew Smith

Local Restaurants Get Grants to Upgrade Kitchens, Keep Employees

Eight local restaurants have been awarded grants as part of the California Restaurant Foundation’s Restaurants Care Resilience Fund.

Local recipients for 2022 were Bubba’s Bones and Brews, Casa Luna Mexican and Seafood Restaurant, Cork and Fork, Los Pablos Birreria y Taqueria, Musashi Japanese Restaurant, Nature’s Natural Health Food and Café, Norma’s Kitchen of Rancho Mirage, and Sandbar Restaurant.

This year, the fund was focused on supporting two things that keep a restaurant running—kitchens and crews. Grant funds, coming from donations from SoCalGas, PG&E and SDG&E, can be used to invest in equipment upgrades or retention bonuses. Recipients will also receive year-long business support services funded by Wells Fargo, including resources to enhance and streamline their business, monthly Zoom trainings with fellow grant recipients, and a complimentary membership to the California Restaurant Association.

To learn more, visit www.restaurantscare.org/resilience.

Taste of Summer Rancho Mirage Runs Through Aug. 12

Taste of Summer Rancho Mirage is back! The food fest runs through Friday, Aug. 12.

Here’s how it works: Local nonprofits and the Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce sell the wristbands as a fundraiser; and residents/visitors enjoy delicious food and drink at a discount; restaurants stay busy. It is a win-win-win!

Buy a $10 wristband to grab great deals, enjoy much-loved favorites and try some new spots this summer. Specials vary by location; you will find some great bites with 20 restaurants and eateries to visit.

For more information or to purchase your wristband, visit tasteofsummerranchomirage.com.

In Brief

June and July were busy months for restaurant openings in the Coachella Valley. Luchows (luchowspalmsprings.com, for takeout, Thai Hot (thaihotrestaurant.com), Monster Shakes Cathedral City (monstershakesps.com), Freddie’s Kitchen (freddieskitchenatthecole.com), Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream (handelsicecream.com) and Ruberry Salsa (ruberrysalsa.com) all opened, just to name a few. Not surprisingly, things have slowed down a bit as the summer rages on. However, take heart: “Winter is coming” (in a few months), as the kids say; of course, here in the valley, that means temps in the 70s and 80s. Season will be in full swing before we know it, so expect more hot restaurant gossip coming soon. … We recently mentioned in this space that the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa (74855 Country Club Drive, Palm Desert) was sourcing ingredients from their new JW Garden. In June, they announced that chef Eric Theiss has taken over all culinary operations at the restaurants, bars and banquet facilities onsite. His emphasis on using locally and organically sourced produce, and using minority-owned, women-owned and small-business vendors, can make a local impact. He has also brought on chef Sefika Kaya as the resort’s pastry chef. Her experience includes stints with Marriott International, The Ritz-Carlton and Omni Rancho Las Palmas. Visit www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/ctdca-jw-marriott-desert-springs-resort-and-spa to learn more. … After a long hiatus, what’s billed as Palm Springs’ longest-running drag brunch has returned to Rio Azul Mexican Bar and Grill, 350 S. Indian Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs. The Desert Divas Drag Brunch with Vanity Halston (www.facebook.com/desertdivasdragbrunch), now on Saturdays, brings in a rotating cast for an interactive lip sync and comedy show. All ages are welcome, although the gurls can get bawdy. A full bar and bottomless mimosas ensure a great time; learn more at rioazulpalmsprings.com. … Speaking of brunch, AsiaSF Palm Springs has introduced a Sunday brunch with the fabulous Ladies of AsiaSF. High-energy performances and gorgeous food are always the name of the game at this beautiful and very airconditioned venue. Make reservations and learn more at palmsprings.asiasf.com.

Got a hot tip? Let me know: foodnews@cvindependent.com.

Charles Drabkin

Charles Drabkin is a native of McMinnville, Ore., the heart of the Oregon Wine Country, where the relationship between food and people was instilled in him at an early age. After working his way around...

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