Restaurateur Opens Staff Kitchens to Feed 450+ Employees & Families


Amidst the precarious news cycle and developing reports surrounding COVID-19, one of Orange County’s hospitality leaders, is responding to the crisis with efficiency and humanity. While the industry is facing inevitable hardship, CUCINA enoteca’s overarching hospitality collective, Urban Kitchen Group, is going above and beyond to ensure the well-being of their OC employees.


In lieu of the prevalent takeout/delivery model being implemented by restaurants nationwide, Urban Kitchen Group will allocate what narrow resources they have to care for their staff, ensuring employees have reliable meals during these difficult and unprecedented times. Owned by esteemed restauranteur Tracy Borkum, the UKG culinary collective employs approximately 450 people throughout five Italian eateries in Southern California. While the restaurants are closed to the public until further notice, CUCINA enoteca in Newport Beach and CUCINA urbana in San Diego will become staff kitchens — serving meals for all UKG employees & their families via curbside to-go pickup.

“As small business owners in an industry where margins were already debilitating prior to the pandemic, it’s incredibly stressful and heartbreaking that we cannot support our team members better during this crisis. We are urging the state and federal government to provide more support for our employees until our restaurants can open again and our staff can return to work. In the meantime, the least we can do with the limited resources we do have as a restaurant group is to ensure that our employees are well and fed.” – Tracy Borkum, Principal of Urban Kitchen Group, 

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