Providence, founded by Bacon in 2006, began as a culinary training program but has since expanded to include on-the-job training to program graduates as well as a variety of catering services and community meal preparation. By 2019, Providence had graduated 100 culinary classes and prepared and provided over 1 million meals for hunger relief.
This year, Providence shifted much of its workforce from catering jobs to meal delivery to help with the increased demand of people left jobless by the coronavirus epidemic. This summer, Providence was preparing as many as 40,000 meals a week for those in need.
Earl’s operates a restaurant, whiskey bar and music venue in the Industry Hill section of downtown. Herbie Gimmel, Joel Ornstein and Wade Robinson own Earl’s, at 121 W. 9th St., as well as Joyner’s, a bar at 854 W. Fourth St. in the West End.
Gimmel said he and his partners were not actively looking for a hotel restaurant and that the DoubleTree ownership sought them out.
“We were in negotiations for a few months. We weren’t really sure at first. But at the end of the day, we decided it’s an interesting opportunity,” Gimmel said.
Gimmel, who along with Ornstein has previous hotel experience, said they haven’t settled on a concept or menu, or hired a chef yet.
At present, the DoubleTree’s dining room is closed. The kitchen is open for hotel guests, though, and the Earl’s team has begun serving takeout to guests only.