By Cheryl Cornish
Two Cooper-Young institutions, Strano! Sicilian Kitchen and Bar and First Congregational Church, are partnering for a special edition of First Congo’s Community Lunch on Wednesday, February 24th.
Part of the church’s Food Justice Ministry, First Congregational Church offers no-cost lunch to the community Mondays-Fridays as part of a commitment to alleviate food insecurity in our neighborhood and to provide a happy place for neighbors to gather. These midday meals are organized by volunteers and served in The Hub at First Congo, a newly renovated space with entry from Cooper Street just down from the Revolutions Bike Gate. The church clothes closet is open during lunch hours on Tuesday and Thursday, and the food pantry is open during lunch Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
A Memphis native who previously worked at Karen Carrier’s Bar DKDC, 24-year-old old wunderkind chef Josh Steiner opened Strano! Two years ago. The restaurant’s name is taken from the maiden name of Steiner’s Italian grandmother, a key early inspiration for the chef. From its opening Strano! made its mark with its modern interpretations of classic Sicilian-inspired cuisine. The restaurant recently announced several changes, including expansion of its popular Sunday brunch to Saturday, free delivery in Cooper-Young ($5 charge outside of the neighborhood), and revamped prices with a daily lunch menu option including soup or salad, entrée, and beverage for under $10.
Steiner will be preparing a special meal for the Community Lunch, which runs 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. All Cooper-Young residents are invited to come join in this celebration of generosity, partnership, and goodwill. Contributions toward outreach programs may be offered that day or online at www.firstcongo.com