And the number is ...
You’ll have to wait until Saturday to find out, when Isolation BIZ-ingo is Facebook Live. The weekly night of “dinner and digital fun” was inspired by Megan Gaffney, co-owner, with husband Phil, of MidNord Empanadas & Churros in the North Loop’s Graze food hall.
“The faucet turned off overnight with no one coming into the restaurant,” she said. “We were forced to adapt and I thought, ‘What do we love about going out to eat?’ It’s socializing with others.”
Bingo, you might say.
Gaffney, a fan of the game, asked her friend Angie Avestruz, also an avid player, to work with her on the project.
The idea popped up on a Monday and by Saturday, the bingo basket was spinning for its first game, with 900 players awaiting the call of numbers.
Gaffney and Avestruz have enlisted more than 80 restaurants and breweries to hand out the free bingo cards on Fridays and Saturdays (plan ahead as they do run out). Though it’s not required to buy takeout, the purchase is appreciated, given that this is an effort to support local businesses, which also provide gift cards for the winners.
And speaking of winners: Each game has a prize of about $200 to $300 in gift cards, split among those who “yell” “BIZ-ingo” in the comments section, if there are multiples. The final round tends to be $300 to $400 in gift cards.
The game — and hilarity — starts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays and lasts about two hours for five rounds. Find the details and spots for card pickup at isolationbizingo.com. Watch the event on their Facebook page at Isolation BIZ-ingo, where information on the upcoming games is posted on the Tuesday night prior.
“It’s all grown organically,” said Gaffney.
The effort also takes donations to fundraise for meals for front-line workers, which has already provided food worth $11,000.
As for the name?
“For legal — and gambling — reasons, we can’t call this bingo,” said Gaffney.
So they don’t.
Lee Svitak Dean • @StribTaste