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Features

Mmm, mmm, good – Studio Hotrods eatery helping those in need

Season of giving dawns in face of global crisis

FOX LAKE – Soup’s on at Studio Hotrods Roadhouse in Fox Lake. Owner of Studio Hotrods in Richmond and Studio Hotrods Roadhouse in Fox Lake, Harry Nicodem and a few members of his Roadhouse kitchen staff are making soup to be delivered to those in need in response to COVID-19 restrictions.

On March 16, they made their first batches of chicken noodle and tomato bisque soups, resulting in 120 total four-serving portions that are frozen prior to delivery.

Members of the Studio Hotrods group, as well as community volunteers, deliver 32-ounce soups to those unable to leave their homes because of illness, as well as those who have been hurt financially, such as parents unable to use sponsored school lunch programs for their kids because of school closings.

Nicodem said they are trying to instill hope and calm in people’s lives, and that the outpouring of support from community members has been amazing.

“There’s always hard times and bad stuff that happens,” Nicodem said. “I’m looking at all this goofy stuff going [on], and thought about how I could use my restaurant to help out. There’s so much negative out there right now, but if we all just help out a little, it can go a long way. We’re all running for the grocery stores and I get it, and the pandemonium and the fear can cause a lot of turmoil, but we need to take this time to bring love and help to the community. We’re all in this thing together. It’s on my heart. I feel like I was supposed to do it. I think we just need opportunities to shine a little bit.”

The first deliveries went out March 17, and more requests are beginning to pour in. Nicodem said they will start to include some additional flavors such as cream of broccoli, but chicken noodle will be their staple, because "it just makes you feel better, just like when my mom used to make it for me."

Those in need can send a request on Facebook to Studio Hotrods Roadhouse or call the Studio Hotrods in Richmond directly at 815-669-0020. They are trying to keep deliveries local to the Fox Lake area, and are currently offering a 32-ounce soup per household that requests it.

Depending on response and longevity of the quarantine situation, the group plans to take orders and do deliveries once a week.

“We bought four times the amount of food we normally sell at the restaurant in a week to help,” Nicodem said. “Studio Hotrods Roadhouse is still open for business for delivery and pickup, but we really wanted to help the people that need it. We’re helping out a woman dealing with chemo who can’t leave her house, an elderly woman who is sick, and a mom who has been struggling without the school lunch program. When things are tough like this, I really think it’s how we approach it is how it will come out.”

Nicodem has had more than 15 people call to help with deliveries, and said he has also been helped out immensely by Fox Lake residents Tim and Diane Foster, operators of the “Your Link to the Chain – Fox Lake” Facebook community page.

“I’ve been shocked by the positive responses and people wanting to help out of the blue,” Nicodem said. “We just have to spread calm. Everything is going to be OK.”

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