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January 1st, 2013:

This blog goes to eleven

As of today, I have been writing this blog for eleven years. One runs out of dinosaur analogies after awhile, so let’s say that in Internet terms, this blog appeared at about the same time as the trilobite. I don’t have anything deep to say, just a thank you to all of you who read this blog, and especially those of you that respond to what I write. I learn more from the feedback I get than anything else I do here. I’ve met a lot of interesting people and made a number of good friends through this blog, and I continue to enjoy the writing that I do. Thanks for helping to make this as much fun as it has been and continues to be. Happy New Year, y’all.

Now you can drink for charity

The OKRA Charity Bar is now open for business.

Charity Bar — like Warren’s Inn, its neighbor around the block — will be open until 2 a.m. seven days a week.

“I think bars have a responsibility to people in the neighborhood to be consistent,” said OKRA founder and Charity Bar owner Bobby Heugel on the phone last week. Heugel himself has moved into downtown, just a stone’s throw away from Charity Bar, and is intent on building a community there at Travis and Congress.

As for the selection of booze at the bar, Heugel says: “We’re trying to put a little face of everybody into the bar program,” since Charity Bar is run by an “administration” of industry personnel that includes folks from Anvil Bar & Refuge, The Hay Merchant, Oxheart, The Pass & Provisions, Blacksmith, Underbelly, Poison Girl, Black Hole Coffee Bar, The Modular, Paulie’s, Big Star Bar, Grand Prize Bar, Antidote Coffee and Revival Market. (In case you weren’t counting, that’s three coffee shops, four restaurants, four cocktail bars, a grocery store and a craft beer bar.)
To that end, Heugel says, there will be “craft beer, cheap beer, just a pretty wide selection of beers once we get going.” And as for cocktails, expect a lineup of 20 classics made with fresh ingredients.

“We’ll try to cover all the bases and make sure when someone comes in they’re happy,” Heugel says.”

And as a reminder, Charity Bar isn’t just a name. Starting on January 1, Heugel and crew will announce the four nominees for that month’s charity beneficiary. Patrons at the bar will receive a token for every drink they order, and will use that token to vote for the charity of their choice (a program that’s been successfully employed at thrift clothing store Buffalo Exchange for years). At the end of each month, the tokens will be tallied and the charity with the most will receive 100 percent of the bar’s proceeds.

So there you have it: Good food, good drink, all for a good cause. What more do you want? The Charity Bar is at 924 Congress downtown, so go check it out.