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The Barstool Fund - Irazu

Up next: Irazu (Chicago, IL)

For a typical Costa Rican dining experience, Irazu is the perfect spot. Serving the cuisine and flavor of Costa Rica since 1990, Irazu has been the ultimate American dream turned reality for an entire family.

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Reader Email

We have been a staple in our neighborhood for over 30 years and we have the most incredibly loyal customer base. But we haven't gotten this far by luck. The average tenure of our full-time employees (most are line cooks) is over 10 years. In other words, our employees are just as loyal. We owe it to our customers and our hard-working employees to stay a viable small business in our community.

What started as a typical American dream turned into a reality in August of 1990 as Miriam (my mom) and Gerardo (my dad) plunked all of their savings into a moonshot of a concept - a Costa Rican restaurant in a downtrodden community. Their toil has paid off and their legacy is intact, but the community will lose its new character if the pit-stop-cum-restaurant cannot survive this unprecedented challenge.

People have shared birthdays, engagements, weddings, farewell parties and everything in between at my family's establishment. It would be an incalculable loss to the neighborhood's families who've supported us and for the restaurant employees' families who've depended on us. Any help would be graciously accepted and we are humbled by the generosity of strangers.

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