Undocumented restaurant workers get help from wine and spirits industry during coronavirus

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From left to right: Aaron Melendrez, Damian Diaz, and Othón Nolasco of Va’La Hospitality, a bar consulting group based in Boyle Heights. They are the men behind “No Us Without You,” an initiative that’s now assisting 200 families on a weekly basis. Photo credit: Christian Monterossa

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a lot of fear, whether it’s about keeping your job or getting sick if a stranger coughs near you. Now imagine if you’re an undocumented immigrant who’s also concerned about being deported. The spirits industry is stepping up to help undocumented restaurant workers.

Aaron Melendrez is one-third of Va’La Hospitality, a consulting group for the bartending and hospitality industry. He co-founded the Boyle Heights-based initiative called No Us Without You. He and his business partners are distributing groceries to undocumented restaurant workers and soliticited donations to keep the operation running.



Evan Kleiman