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Detroit Restaurants Take Action For ‘A Day Without a Woman’ Protest

Closures and demonstrations of solidarity aim to draw attention to gender issues and inequality

Rose’s Fine Food interior
The women at Rose’s Fine Food on East Jefferson are letting male co-workers and allies run the restaurant on Wednesday.
Michelle and Chris Gerard
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

On Wednesday, March 8, women around the world plan to draw attention to issues of “equity, justice, and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity.” Dubbed “A Day Without a Woman,” the action will coincide with International Women’s Day.

The people behind January’s Women’s March on Washington are organizing the protest, and calling on women including trans and gender nonconforming people, and their allies to take some or all of the following actions:

  1. Women take the day off from paid and unpaid labor
  2. Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses).
  3. Wear red in solidarity with “A Day Without a Woman”

Earlier demonstrations including the Women’s March and February’s “A Day Without Immigrants” strike had a huge impact on the restaurant world. Here in Detroit, some establishments are already taking action to show support for “A Day Without a Woman.”

Several woman-owned and operated businesses including Sister Pie and Cairo Coffee in Eastern Market are closing their doors on Wednesday in solidarity with protesters. “[The] strikes are meant to feel and be disruptive,” says Monica Isaac, owner of Cairo Coffee. “It's meant to be a moment to stop you in your tracks and force you to reflect on the issues plaguing women — and not just women within your immediate communities but marginalized women here and abroad.”

She plans to spend the day “reflecting on the women who inspire me from a collection of radical writings from women of color called This Bridge Called My Back and by donating to Freedom House in Detroit.”

Meanwhile, Sister Pie is encouraging customers to use the money they would have spent on pastries to instead support local non-profit Alternatives for Girls.

On East Jefferson, another woman-owned business, Rose’s Fine Food, is also adjusting operations on March 8. While the restaurant plans to stay open, women staffers will be taking a step back on Wednesday and letting men run the diner for the day.

Do you work at or represent a restaurant in the Detroit area with plans to close on Wednesday or otherwise support A Day Without a Woman? Email with your plans; Eater will be updating this piece frequently through the end of the day on Wednesday.


Sister Pie
Cairo Coffee
Astro Coffee


Rose’s Fine Food: Male co-workers and allies will run the restaurant.

The Farmer’s Hand: This women-owned business will donate 20 percent of cafe sales to the Mercy Education Project.

Drifter Coffee: This woman-owned mobile cafe will offer free coffee to patrons who where red at the Royal Oak Farmers Market Food Truck Rally 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Brooklyn Street Local: The Corktown restaurant is hosting a pop-up for International Women’s Day supporting Freedom House and 10 percent of the day’s sales and all cupcake sales will be donated for Alternatives for Girls. On March 15, 10 percent of sales will be donated to Planned Parenthood and on March 22 donations will go to Trans Sistas of Color.

Showing our support! #brooklynstreetlocal #nationalwomensday

A post shared by Brooklyn Street Local (@brooklynstreetlocal) on

Update: This story has been updated with a statement from Cairo Coffee.

All A Day Without a Woman Coverage [E]

Rose's Fine Food

10551 E. Jefferson, Detroit, MI Visit Website

Sister Pie

8066 Kercheval Avenue, , MI 48214 (313) 447-5550 Visit Website

Cairo Coffee

2905 Beaufait Street, , MI 48207 Visit Website