Imagine a bar and restaurant that, like Newman’s Own, gives all of its profits to charity.
Beer and benevolence, it’s been called. Drafts and donations. More fun, in any case, than salad dressing.
That’s the idea behind Cause, a philanthropub (“a bar where having a good time helps a great cause”) that opened last October in the U. Street/Cardozo neighborhood of Washington, D.C., at 1926 9th St. N.W. I’ve been three times–first to kick off the new year with the D.C. chapter of Net Impact, then to interview founder Nick Vilelle and this past week to have dinner with my wife.
Cause isn’t alone. “Have a pint, save the world,” says the Oregon Public House, which plans to open soon in Portland, a hub of both craft beer and NGO activity. In downtown Houston, bar owners came together last year to open the Okra Charity Saloon; customers, who get a vote with every drink, decide which charity should receive the next month’s profits. The ideas for these charity pubs evidently arose spontaneously and independently. They’re the latest in a wave of mission-driven businesses that blur the lines between the for-profit and non-profit worlds. [click to continue...]