Hurricane Harvey has wreaked unimaginable havoc on Houston and other cities in Texas, which are still under water and struggling to deal with the devastation. The need to help is in us all, and sometimes it can feel overwhelming just trying to decide what to do and where to send your money.
One great option is to go out and support the local businesses in your city that are supporting relief efforts in Texas. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of restaurants and bars working to give back, from donating tips to sending food to pledging a percentage of sales.
We certainly couldn’t round them all up, but here are some restaurants, bars, breweries, and cafes going above and beyond, either in terms of what they're donating or the sheer creativity of how they're raising funds to help out in this time of crisis.
1. The Leblanc + Smith Group in New Orleans, LA
Owner Robért LeBlanc is no stranger to storm damage as an owner and operator of four restaurants in New Orleans. He pledged that 20 percent of all sales from August 29th to September 4th at all of his venues—Barrel Proof, Cavan, Meauxbar, and Sylvain—will be donated to SBP’s disaster relief efforts in Texas. SBP is a national non-profit organization committed to helping communities recover from disaster promptly and efficiently.
“The tremendous outpouring of love and support for New Orleans, much of it from the state of Texas and from Southwest Louisiana, rebuilt our community and is literally responsible for LeBLANC+SMITH today,” says LeBlanc. “I always committed that we would pay that forward at every chance we got.”
2. Cane Rosso Pizza, with locations in Austin, Dallas and Houston
Cane Rosso—a pizza place bringing old-world Italian recipes to locations around the Lone Star State—has launched a “Year of Pizza Raffle,” with 100 percent of the proceeds going to flood relief efforts in Houston. Here’s how it works: Purchase a $50 raffle ticket, which goes entirely to charity. You'll be entered in a drawing to win an entire year of free pizza from any of their locations. That’s one pizza per week, for 52 weeks!
“We are currently selling our Year of Pizza raffle tickets on our website, hoping to add another $20,000 to our donation total, after having already raised $20,000 through a fundraiser at one of our locations earlier this week,” says owner Jay Jerrier.
3. Del Frisco’s, locations nationwide
Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group is setting lofty goals this weekend: They're aiming to raise $1 million in just five days. To help them out, dine at any of their locations from now until September 4th. Twenty percent of sales at every Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, Del Frisco’s Grille, and Sullivan’s Steakhouse nationwide (53 restaurants in total) will be donated, with hopes to exceed $1 million in donations. We're not sure if they can meet that massive goal in such a short span, but we have our fingers crossed (and our steak knives ready) for them.
4. Black Restaurant Group in the D.C. metropolitan area
From August 31st through September 14th, Black Restaurant Group is offering a dollar-for-dollar donation match, up to $100,000. Their restaurants include Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Black Jack, Tilt Side Bar, BlackSalt, Black’s Bar and Kitchen, Black Market Bistro, Republic, and Addie’s Restaurant in the D.C. metropolitan area. Restaurant guests will be able to make donations directly on their checks to be matched by Black’s Family Foundation. If the $100,00 goal isn't met by the deadline, the drive will continue. And you don’t even have to personally visit a restaurant to donate and have your donation matched; simply click here to make a contribution. If you're in the area and looking for more ways to give back, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington has set up a dedicated page to highlight restaurant and bar fundraising efforts.
5. Coquette in New Orleans, LA
Coquette is part of a group of restaurants called With Love From NOLA who are helping out Houston hospitality employees by collecting gift cards for Harvey relief. Stop in Coquette (or any of the other 28 participating restaurants) to drop off a gift card; recommended options include Target, Amazon, Home Depot, and Lowe’s. The group will donate these cards to hospitality groups in Houston, who will then distribute them to their restaurant and hospitality workers and their families to help rebuild.
6. In Good Company Hospitality in New York City and Rockaway Beach, NY
The team at In Good Company Hospitality are asking people to drink up for the cause. Every day in September, specialty twists on a Harvey Wallbanger cocktail will be available at each of their restaurants and bars for $14. All of the sales will go to Team Rubicon, an organization that provides disaster relief in communities across the country, sending in veterans and first-responders. In Good Company Hospitality will also help throw a giant beach party on September 2nd, in conjunction with The BLVD Project on Rockaway Beach. The event is free, including live music, games, and artists creating murals. All drinks sales from the party will benefit Team Rubicon, too.
7. Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont, CO
Budweiser and Miller Coors aren’t the only ones sending cans of water to those affected. The CAN’d Aid Foundation recently partnered with Oskar Blues Brewery to fill an initial 88,800 cans of clean drinking water, which are now being shipped to two disaster preparedness centers near Houston. The water will be distributed to those in need and CAN’d Aid and Oskar Blues will fill another 400 tanks, equaling 131,400 cans of water, in the coming days. In addition to assisting with clean water, CAN’d Aid is recruiting volunteers and raising funds for hands-on work relief trips to the Houston area to assist with mucking and gutting as soon as it's safe to get into the area. You can donate to CAN’d Aid directly here.
8. Starbucks, any location
As a company, Starbucks has already donated a quarter of a million dollars to Harvey relief. But they're also accepting donations from customers at all Starbucks locations, with every penny going to the American Red Cross for relief efforts. And in an even more impressive outpouring of support, they’ve also pledged to match all the donations made personally by their employees. Considering they have nearly 300,000 people working for them, it could really add up to serious aid money.
To help those affected by Hurricane Irma go to redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word IRMA to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
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