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Nation & World

Bartender, I’ll have 
another ... for charity

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

A new Houston bar is offering its customers not just a relaxed atmosphere with good drinks and food, but a pledge that 100 percent of its profits will be donated to a different local 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.

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