More Restaurants Doing Good Things

March 24, 2010

Whenever restaurants and chefs give back to the community, by participating in fundraisers, I like to toot their horns.  When it’s my friends who are doing this, I really  let the world (well, the world that is the Triangle) know.  Here are two great examples.

Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Diner is very passionate about giving back to the community.  I’ve asked her to donate her time for fundraisers, and she’s always come through.  She’s particularly devoted to the Frankie Lemmon School and Foundation, but this time around, she’s not cooking for a cause, she’s going to sit her butt on a fitness cycle and spin away, trying to raise TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS to support the building of a children’s playground.  She’s less than a thousand dollars from her goal, so please go to this site and make a donation.

Another good friend is Parker Kennedy, the owner of downtown Raleigh’s Caffe Luna.  I first met Parker in the weeks before he first opened, over 10 years ago.  Caffe Luna was opening in a location that was cursed, many said, as multiple restaurants opened and quickly closed in that spot.  Caffe Luna is now one of the most successful restaurants in Raleigh, and many restaurants subsequently opened in the area, and thrived.  I think Caffe Luna’s success laid the ground work for many of these other places.

What you may not know about Caffe Luna is that they also give back to the community.  They have raised untold thousands of dollars for Shaw University.  They’re big supporters of the Raleigh Arts community.  And now they’re doing a big fundraiser for the people of Haiti.  Next Tuesday, March 30th, Caffe Luna will feed all comers at Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh from 6 to 8 PM.  Dinner includes pasta, salad, wine, beer, tea and dessert.  Caffe Luna is donating 100% of the food and beverages and is not keeping one penny.  Marbles is donating the space.  The cost is $30 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under.  All proceeds will go to the Hope for Haiti Foundation, a non-profit based in Cary. Tickets can be purchased online at  Heck, even Firstgiving isn’t taking a cut from this.  Right now, they haven’t sold many tickets, and maybe that’s because people think that Haiti has raised plenty of money, but that’s not the case.  They need help, and this is an easy way to provide it.

So let’s help these establishments, when they’re giving back to the community.  We’re the beneficiaries of their food, and we need to help them when they’re doing the right thing.

Dine Out for Haiti

January 21, 2010

This Sunday and Monday, a number of Triangle-based restaurants will be donating 10% of their proceeds to two charities for the relief efforts in Haiti.  This effort was initiated on Facebook by local chefs and foodies, and as of the time of this post, there are 20 restaurants participating.  Here’s the list of confirmed restaurants:

Watt’s Grocery (Durham)
Bogart’s American Grill (Raleigh)
Crook’s Corner (Evening Service Only – Chapel Hill)
Cup A Joe (Chapel Hill)
HI5 (Raleigh)
Joe Van Gogh (Durham)
Michael Dean’s Seafood Grill (Raleigh)
Milltown (Carrboro)
Panzanella (Carrboro)
Red Room Tapas Lounge (Raleigh)
Saladelia Cafe (Durham)
Saxapahaw General Store (Saxapahaw)
Southern Rail (Carrboro)
The Mash House (Fayetteville)
Twisted Fork (Raleigh)
West End Wine Bar (Durham)

ACME Food and Beverage Co. (Carrboro)
Cup A Joe (Chapel Hill)
Cypress On The Hill (Chapel Hill)
Foster’s Market (Durham/Chapel Hill)
GlassHalFull (Carrboro)
Globe Restaurant (Raleigh)
Joe Van Gogh (Durham)
Lantern (Chapel Hill)
Mad Hatter’s Bakeshop and Cafe (Durham)
Neal’s Deli (Carrboro)
Parker and Otis (Durham)
Pop’s (Durham)
Rockwood Filling Station (Durham)
Ruckus Pizza Pasta and Spirits (Cary)
Rue Cler (Durham)
Sandwhich (Chapel Hill)
Six Plates Wine Bar (Durham)
Toast (Durham)
Tyler’s Restaurant and Tap Room (Carborro, Durham and Apex)
West End Wine Bar (Chapel Hill)
Zely and Ritz (Raleigh)

More information on this fantastic effort can be found on this Facebook page or this new blog that’s been started.  The blog says that 10% of profits will be donated to the charities, but that is a misprint.  It is 10% of sales.  So go to brunch on Sunday and then to dinner on Monday.  And spread the word!

(Edited to reflect changes to participating restaurants at 8:15 AM, 1/23/10)


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