In early May, the U.S. Small Business Administration opened up applications for its Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a $28.6 billion grant program that was part of the American Rescue Plan stimulus bill signed into law by President Joe Biden in March of this year.
The fund, which aimed to provide relief to restaurants, bars, and other businesses that serve food and drinks, quickly ran out of money and closed on July 2. (A bipartisan group of lawmakers, which includes Arizona U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, has since introduced legislation to replenish the fund with an additional $60 billion in aid.) This past Friday, under pressure from Independent Restaurant Coalition, the SBA released the list of RRF grant awardees — more than 100,000 businesses across the country.
Here in Arizona, 1,325 businesses received RRF aid, totaling just shy of $300 million in all. The recipients run the gamut from a Chandler food truck called Wok This Way, which received $4,000, to Mexkor Restaurant Group, which landed a whopping $3.6 million from the fund. According to state filings, Mexkor is managed by German Osio of Osio Culinary Group, which operates the Scottsdale restaurants Local Bistro and SumoMaya. Mexkor also received more than $1 million in PPP loans last year.
Another large recipient of funds was JJ Holmes LLC, which received $3.3 million. The firm owns and operates the local chain JJ's Grub Shack. Federal court records show that its owner, Jeffrey Holmes, is locked in a legal battle with his Avondale landlord regarding $240,000 of back rent allegedly owed by a Native Grill and Wings franchise Holmes operated and closed at the beginning of the pandemic.
TLB Hospitality LLC received $3.2 million in funds. According to state filings, the Scottsdale firm is managed by Louis Basile, the president and founder of Wildflower Bread Company.
Scottsdale Boondocks LLC, which operates the Old Town Scottsdale staple Boondocks Patio and Grill, received $2.7 million. In May, a former server and bartender sued Boondocks, alleging unpaid wages and other violations of state and federal law.
Further down the list, you'll find Linger Longer Entertainment LLC, the entity behind Genuine Concepts, which operates well-known Valley establishments The Vig and The Womack (which is still closed). It netted $760,000 from the RRF. Gracie's Tax Bar got $377,000.
The RRF database, which you can search by city, state, or business name, can be found here.