We’ve just finished the most festive and generous time of the year: Throughout December, it seemed as if every week brought new bar crawls, happy hours and ugly sweater parties to raise money for charity. Going out and having a good time while also giving back sounded like the perfect way to spend the holidays.
But the turn of the calendar doesn’t mean an end to goodwill toward men. The Washington area thrives on philanthropy, and many bars sponsor charitable events year-round. This is a guide to some of our favorites, which you can take advantage of in coming weeks. We regularly feature fundraising happy hours, date auctions and other events in the Nightlife Agenda column, which appears every Tuesday in the Style section and on the Going Out Guide.
On a Grinchy note, Cause the Philanthropub, a Shaw tavern that pledged to give all of its profits to charity, closed last week. Unfortunately, the restaurant itself never turned a profit.
Chocolate City Beer’s 8th and I Rye
By now, we’re used to the District’s breweries releasing small-batch beers to local bars; it’s a good way for a brewery to build some buzz and for customers to sip something new. But 8th and I Rye, which Chocolate City Beer unveiled last Friday, is special. It’s a roggenbier, a German style that is heavy on rye, giving the ale a spicy, bready flavor and a full, dry body. It’s also brewed for charity.
Head brewer Noah Cowles is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and the name of this beer pays tribute to the Marine Barracks in Southeast Washington. Three of the six bars that have 8th and I on tap are on Barracks Row: Molly Malone’s, Lola’s Bar and Grill and Senart’s Oyster and Chop House. (You can also find it at Boxcar Tavern and Tunnicliff’s Tavern across from Eastern Market, and at the Pug on H Street.)
The bars will donate $1.50 for each pint sold to the Fisher House Foundation, which offers low-cost housing to the families of military service members receiving treatment at military or Veterans Affairs hospitals. You can pick up a growler of 8th and I at Chocolate City’s Brookland brewery on Saturdays from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.; $1 from each take-home sale benefits Fisher House.
Chocolate City Brewing Company,
2801 Eighth St. NE. 202-351-6197.
vinoteca happy hours
This U Street wine bar boasts one of the best happy hours in Washington: Every day from 5 to 7 p.m., 15 wines by the glass are offered for $5, as is draft Peroni beer. A selection of small plates, including soups and sandwiches, cost $5 to $7. How could this get any better? On certain Wednesday nights, the deals are extended until 9 p.m. for anyone who makes a donation to the evening’s featured charity: On Wednesday, that’s the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training, while Jan. 15 raises money for the Children’s Inn at NIH. (Charities that want to host a happy hour should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss arrangements.)
Vinoteca, 1940 11th St. NW.
Charity trivia night
The semimonthly trivia night for charity at Solly’s U Street Tavern is a Washington bar-crawling trifecta: a way to show your smarts, be competitive and raise money for a good cause. On the first and third Wednesday of each month, the bar turns over its pub quiz to a nonprofit group. Ten percent of the evening’s food and drink sales are donated to the featured organization, and there are raffles and other giveaways. Each game features one round of D.C.-specific trivia and another that’s germane to that week’s charity. (On Dec. 18, for example, proceeds went to City Year, which works with at-risk students in local schools, so there was a round about education in the United States.)
Most of the teams that play at Solly’s are regulars, says owner and namesake John Solomon. Scores are kept each week, and a “Team of the Season” is crowned every few months. Winners receive a $300 happy hour for their friends.
Solly’s U Street Tavern, 1942 11th St. NW. 202-232-6590. www.sollystavern. com. The next charity trivia nights are Jan. 15 and Feb. 5. Doors open at 8 p.m., and trivia begins at 8:30. There’s no cover charge.
graffiato’s industry night
Graffiato’s monthly party was featured in this space back in November, but it’s worth a reminder: On the first Monday of the month, Graffiato owner Mike Isabella invites local star chefs and “Top Chef” alumni to cook for the public at a raucous party in his Chinatown restaurant. Pay $10 for all-you-can-eat snacks and plenty of foodie celeb-spotting, and half of the cover charge goes to a featured charity. This month’s one-year anniversary party features Victor Albisu of Del Campo, Scott Drewno of the Source, former Bourbon Steak chef Adam Sobel (now of San Francisco’s RN74) and former “Top Chef” contestant Jennifer Carroll. Proceeds benefit Meals on Wheels.
Monday from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Graffiato, 707 Sixth St. NW. 202-289-3600.