When Melinda Sontgerath first started Guest Bartender night at her Seattle restaurant, 50 North, it was a way to get the neighborhood to get to know the restaurant while giving back to the community by supporting local charities. It was a huge success and now the idea of Guest Bartender Night is coming home to Vashon Island’s Hardware Store Restaurant.
It’s no surprise that many people have always dreamed of being a bartender. Even before the movie, Cocktail, with Tom Cruise hit the theaters, the art of bartending has made the job the crown of the service industry. The bartender is all knowing - a ruler of his own destiny, chock full of sex appeal.
Guest Bartender Night gives Islanders the chance to give it a shot. Charities can send their Island celebrity to tend bar for a night while the organizations bring in all their supporters to socialize. It is an opportunity to support our island’s Do Gooders and have fun too.
Each second Thursday of the month, a charity will be featured for Guest Bartender Night of the Month. Ten percent of the specialty drink sales will go to the charity. Donation jars will be set up around the bar, and restaurant checks will include an opportunity to write in an amount to go to the charity that patrons can charge to their credit cards. The Hardware Store also makes a financial contribution to the organization. In addition to the allure of the ‘celebrity bartender,’ some charities will take the opportunity to sell their merchandise or hold a raffle as ways to leverage the event’s potential.
With the cold weather and holidays upon us, the Food Bank was chosen as the December Charity and the Washington State Fairies agreed to be the guest bartenders. Approximately 15% of Islanders utilize the Food Bank regularly. When heaters go on and utility bills skyrocket, less money is available for groceries. The Food Bank is a vital resource. According to Yvonne Pitrof, Executive Director of the Vashon Food Bank, nearly all the organization’s financial donations come in the months of November and December. In order to be financially sustainable, the Food Bank has to closely steward those funds to ensure they can get through the months when funding is not coming in.
The October Guest Bartender was Voice of Vashon, who reportedly raised approximately $700. As of November 2012, Guest Bartender Night will