A couple weekends ago my friends and I decided to break the routine of grabbing drinks at our usual neighborhood bar, spread our wings and venture downtown to OKRA Charity Bar & Saloon. (OKRA stands for "An Organized Kollaboration on Restaurant Affiairs", in case you were wondering...I know I was.) I've been looking forward to this bar opening since I read about it on my friend Lauren's blog back in August, and completely missed their soft opening in December. I was dying to see what this place looked like. The co-owner (Bobby Heugel) is well-known for his Houston bars and restaurants like Anvil, Hay Merchant, and Underbelly. All fantastic places.
I love the layout. Especially that it isn't cluttered with decorations and allows your eyes to take in the beauty of the saloon's original architecture. Gritty brick walls, unpolished cement floor, cocooned beneath a beautiful wooden arch and glass ceiling. This place would be my dream loft.
The way it works is simple, so don't worry about getting too drunk and not knowing what to do. The lists of charities sponsored each month are stacked at the bar for your eyes to peruse as you're deciding what to drink.
Sorry for the blurriness below - the choices for January are: Bering Omega Community Services, Corridor Rescue Inc., Recipe for Success Foundation and Houston Furniture Bank. Being the sucker for animals that I am, I went with Corridor Rescue.
With each drink you purchase, you're given a ticket (looks like a raffle ticket) to put in the bin of your choice. At the end of the month, votes are counted and the charity with the most votes will receive 100% of the proceeds.
Alright, you have your drink, you've placed your vote, now it's time to have some fun! Hang out with your buddies, play some pool or shuffle board, and enjoy the night!
Luckily, the drinks aren't terribly expensive. I feared that because this was a non-profit bar, downtown, and across the street from swanky Hotel Icon, that I might be paying $6 for a Lone Star or something like that. In reality, it was more like $3 (my debit card breathed a huge sigh of relief). Even better news - OKRA just started a Happy Hour special 7 days a week from 3:30 - 6:30pm with $3 wells and beer, $5 wine, 1/2 off cocktails! Think of how many votes you could give a charity with that low price.
So go, drink, vote, and do a good deed!