Friday, July 11, 2014





Drinks for donations


March 16. 2013 7:39PM
By JUAN A. LOZANO, Associated Press

Story Tools
PrintPrint | E-MailEMail | SaveSave | Hear Generate QR Code QR
Send to Kindle


HOUSTON — Call it benevolence through beer, donating via daiquiri or generosity by gin and tonic.


A new Houston bar is offering its customers not only a relaxed atmosphere with good drinks and food, but a pledge that 100 percent of its profits will be donated to a different charity or social cause each month.


And patrons can vote for which charity benefits from their Merlots and martinis.


Where else can you do good with your drinking? said Tom Burgett, 45, as he sat at the oval-shaped counter at the center of the bar with his wife, Kim, and enjoyed a beer.


The Original OKRA Charity Saloon is one of several bars around the country that are using the business as a way to give back to local communities and also providing people a creative method of being philanthropic. There are similar bars in Washington, D.C., and Austin and another being planned in Portland, Ore.


Houston bar and restaurant owner Bobby Heugel's group, an Organized Kollaboration on Restaurant Affairs or OKRA, runs the charity saloon. Heugel said the idea was born of a need to highlight the civic exchange that occurs between restaurants and bars and the communities they operate in.


And so finding a way for your establishment to be part of the community from which you profit from I think is really important, Heugel said of the group, which is made up of some of the city's best-known establishments, including Anvil Bar & Refuge, Underbelly and Oxheart.


At the charity saloon – located in a downtown brick building that dates back to the 1880s – whenever customers order a drink or food, they will get one ticket for each item. On each menu is a short description of the four charities being featured that month, said Mike Criss, the bar's general manager. Customers vote by dropping their tickets into a row of boxes, one for each charity.


Once the bar, which is registered as a nonprofit, pays its operating costs, 100 percent of the remaining profits go to the winning charity. Heugel said the ultimate goal is to donate $10,000 per month.


Charitable giving took a hit after the recession, so nonprofits and similar groups continue to look for new ways to raise money, said Jason Franklin, executive director of New York-based Bolder Giving, an organization that educates people about philanthropy.


So if models like charity bars can prove effective, it's one more place to find new resources to do the work in communities that is needed, he said.




Comments
comments powered by Disqus Commenting Guidelines
Poll
Mortgage Minute


Search for New & Used Cars

Make 
Model
 
Used New All
 

Search Times Leader Classifieds to find just the home you want!

Search Times Leader Classifieds to find just what you need!

Search Pet Classifieds
Dogs Cats Other Animals



Social Media/RSS
Times Leader on Twitter
Times Leader on Youtube
Times Leader on Google+
The Times Leader on Tumblr
The Times Leader on Pinterest
Times Leader RSS Feeds