You’ve probably seen the pop-up advertisements on social media for comfy work-from-home outfits. Or you’ve gotten the notices from your kids’ colleges that the belongings they were forced to leave behind will be transferred directly to new room assignments in the fall. Or you’ve been walking, running, or biking in threadbare activewear you just realized you purchased too many years/pounds/jobs/kids ago.
Perhaps you’ve shattered all of your mugs by throwing them at the walls in furloughed frustration and need new ones for chugging your tears of sadness. Oh, and don't forget the reusable straw to help the environment. While you’re at it, get an apron to save your pajamas from all the splattering. (Neiman Marcus is filing for bankruptcy, not that you could spare $400 for PJs anyway.)
In other words, you or someone you know needs new stuff.
Procuring a Frida Kahlo pin from Coyo Taco won't save café society as we know it, but every bit helps. Plus, it'll remind you there's still beauty in the world. On a very real level, purchasing merch from Miami restaurants, bars, and breweries — many of which are partnering with charitable organizations to help keep their staff fed and clothed during this crisis — is a small way we can participate while feeding and clothing ourselves.
A Fish Called Avalon
Along with jumbo lump crab cakes and a classic caesar salad, order a preshrunk cotton Hanes T-shirt in black for $20 from A Fish Called Avalon. Available for pickup or delivery. 700 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-532-1727; afishcalledavalon.com.
Ball & Chain
If there were ever a time that a set of four shot glasses was needed, it’s now. Buy Ball & Chain’s for $20. You can also spring for a guayabera ($65), a fedora ($25), a baby onesie ($24), or a baseball cap ($25 to $28). Or just invest in a gift card, which is 20 percent off right now, to use when the bar reopens. If you spend more than $80, the gift card comes with a free T-shirt. Order at ballandchainmiami.com.
When you can’t find a mask anywhere, you can get a Bartaco bandanna ($5). Order it with a pack of hot sauce (three for $20) so you can spice up your bland quarantine days. There are also T-shirts ($27), beanies ($18) — you know, for those cold Miami nights — baseball caps ($22), baby onesies ($20), a block tower ($10) for kids to play with, and rocks glasses for you to play with ($22 for set of four). Order online at bartaco.com.
That aforementioned mug for your weeps? Here ya go. Twenty bucks for a good cry sounds like a bargain. Order yourself a pint of mini chocolate chip cookies too. Available for pickup or delivery. 6730 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-756-0366; bluecollarmiami.com.
Café Prima Pasta
For those who like secret menu items, check out Café Prima Pasta’s confidential merch: long-sleeve polo shirts ($45), short-sleeve polos ($28), T-shirts ($18), V-necks ($18), hats ($14), and aprons ($12). It’s coming to the website soon, but meanwhile, just request it with your food order. It can also be mailed through USPS. The best part? The restaurant will throw in a complimentary wine opener with any swag purchase. Available for pickup and delivery. 414 71st St., Miami Beach; 305-867-0106; primapasta.com.
While you pick up your family taco meal, grab some Coyo Taco merch. Each store carries a variety of tees and tanks ($20), pins ($70), lighters ($5), and hats ($20). Available for pickup. Various locations; coyo-taco.com.
Villa Ink is a custom printer for promotional goods. During the crisis, the restaurant receives $10 for every Fooq's T-shirt sold through Villa Ink's website. Other Miami establishments that get funds from Villa’s shirt sales include Baby Jane, Bebito’s, Mendez Fuel, and Stanzione 87. Purchases ship in one to two weeks. Order at villaink.shop.
Because chef/owner Michael Beltran really understands the meaning of hospitality, he’s extending it right now to his staff at Chug's, his Cuban diner in Coconut Grove. That means his employees receive 15 percent of all sales of T-shirts ($25), dad caps ($25), snapbacks ($35), and the above koozie ($1.59). Help yourself — and help support his employees. Available for pickup. 3444 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove; 786-534-8722; chugsdiner.com.
The food-themed apparel company Flavour Gallery recently launched RestaurantMerch to quickly funnel funds to restaurants during the coronavirus crisis. Limited-release Grateful Hospitality-themed T-shirts ($30) are available till April 24. Grateful Hospitality is chef Richard Hales' group comprising his restaurants Sakaya Kitchen, Blackbrick, Dim Ssäm à Gogo, Bird & Bone, and Society BBQ. Also, check back on Flavour Gallery's site, because previous flash sales have included Balloo, B.C. Taco (Fort Lauderdale), and Green Bar & Kitchen (Fort Lauderdale), and you never know what merch discounts might be lurking. Order online at restaurantmerch.com.
Lokal and Kush
If you’re picking up a meal at one of Matt Kuscher’s places, add a T-shirt or hat ($20 to $25) to your order. Don’t bother to look at the restaurant's websites, because you won’t find merch there, although you will discover home-cooked dog food and kombucha. But ask and you shall receive. Pickup only. Kush, 2003 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-576-4500; kushwynwood.com. Lokal, 3190 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove; 305-442-3377; lokalmiami.com.
Buy This Shirt is a restaurant life-giving campaign that serves several properties at once. Launched in NYC by the creative agency DS Projects, the company pools all the proceeds from sales and then distributes them evenly. So, in this case, they all say the same thing on the front: "Bought this T-shirt and stayed the fuck home." But if you want to wear a local business on your back, buy Palmar. Or go sixth borough and procure Regina’s Grocery, which has locations in Manhattan and Miami Beach. Purchase online at thist-shirt.com/products/palmar.
Veza Sur Brewing Co.
If you don’t crowler already, you might want to stock up on a special 32- or 64-ouncer ($4) at Veza Sur. That way, you can refill it with the company's craft brewski every time you run dry. And while you’re at the takeout menu, select some limited-edition "6ft." hats ($15) and "¡Stay en casa" T-shirts ($10). Veza Sur carries a large assortment of other goods as well, including branded infuser water bottles ($40), sunglasses ($5), and beach towels ($22) if you want to dream of sunnier days. Or just buy mango-shaped-and-scented soap ($8) and pretend you’re at the International Mango Festival at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Available for pickup or delivery. 55 NW 25th St., Miami; 786-362-6300; vezasur.com.
The Wharf Miami
Talk about good timing: The Wharf launched a merchandising arm only a couple of weeks before the quarantine shutdown. Now it has your work-from-home attire covered. Whether you’re looking for nautical-inspired shirts ($17.50 to $35), windbreakers ($70), caps ($30 to $35), or canvas totes ($30), you’re good to go — or, uh, stay. Pickup and free shipping on orders over $50. 114 SW North River Dr., Miami; 305-906-4000; wharfmiami.com.
XO Espresso Bar
This coffee bar inside the Lincoln Eatery food hall offers a good number of food and drink items, so you can get your usual. But if you’re itching to play barista at home, order bags of freshly roasted beans or steeped coffee bags, along with an XO Espresso Bar-branded barista apron and a reusable straw kit. Available for pickup and delivery. 723 Lincoln Ln. N., Miami Beach; 786-862-5334; xoespressobar.com.
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