The latest updates from the bar and restaurant scenes

The Central Ohio Food Truck Association (COFTA) has introduced a Neighborhood Pickup Program that offers local food trucks the chance to remain operating while practicing appropriate social distancing measures. In the coming weeks, food trucks are scheduled to serve at designated pickup times and locations with ample parking around Columbus. Payment can also be made online, so cash and cards do not need to be exchanged at the order window. One hundred percent of all scheduling fees from the Neighborhood Pickup Program will be donated to LifeCare Alliance, a nonprofit organization, providing essential health and nutrition services to older adults and individuals living with medical challenges or disabilities in Central Ohio. Locate food trucks at centralohiofoodtrucks.org. 

Freedom a la Cart’s annual fundraiser, Eat Up! Columbus, has been postponed. It was originally scheduled for April 25. The nonprofit organization, which supports survivors of human trafficking, is currently seeking donations to help keep women in its workforce development program employed and to feed those in need. Go here to donate and to learn more. You can also text the word NOURISH to 234-901-3252 to contribute.

The Short North restaurant Fireproof (614-706-4425) and the Campus-area restaurant Shawerma Bite (614-456-7249) have reopened with carryout menus. Meanwhile, Ambrose and Eve and Ye’s Asian Vegan have decided to close indefinitely.

The Kitchen has adapted its weekly Taco Tuesday into a carryout option available through online ordering with curbside pickup. Beer and wine are also available. The participatory restaurant in German Village is also offering meal kits, aka “At-Home Participatory Dining Experiences.” Learn more here.

The James Beard Foundation has postponed the 2020 James Beard Awards Nominee Announcement because of the COVID-19 crisis. It was originally scheduled for Wednesday, March 25. Two Columbus chefs, James Anderson of Ray Ray’s Hog Pit and Spencer Budros of Pistacia Vera, are waiting to learn whether they move on as finalists to the annual James Beard Awards ceremony, which will also be rescheduled. Anderson’s barbecue joint is currently still operating from two locations, its food truck at Ace of Cups (2619 N. High St.) and its drive-thru window in Westerville (5755 Maxtown Road). Meanwhile, Pistacia Vera has decided to close indefinitely in response to the pandemic.

A new website ServiceIndustry.tips is making it easier to support service industry workers during the coronavirus pandemic. The idea is simple: Every time you have a drink or meal at home during the “stay at home” period, consider tipping a local service industry worker through Venmo or Cash App. The site randomly suggests local workers — from bartenders to cooks to bussers — to tip. Support Columbus workers here.