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Have a Drink to Help Victims of Hurricane Katrina

When Diane Alexander, managing partner of DA’s Regional Food and Drink and The Brickskeller, saw the devastation Hurricane Katrina wrought last week, she could think of only one thing: how to help. [IMGCAP(1)]

“We’re donating a percentage of our draft sales through September,” Alexander said, adding that the bar’s owners will then match whatever the total comes to.

“I think it will probably be, at least, about $500 a week, so probably a couple thousand a week for each restaurant,” Alexander offered as a guess at the total donation. “A total of about $4,000. That should be the very least, I hope it will be much more.”

She also hopes to continue aiding those in trouble after September ends. “We hope to find more to do to make this an ongoing project,” Alexander said. “We’ll do something else in October, a dinner where a percentage of the funds go to the victims. Maybe a clothing drive. I’d like to go through the rest of the year and have a project helping these poor people out.”

Donating money to a great cause is not the only reason to go to the two restaurants. DA’s Regional Food and Drink (810 Seventh St. NW) offers more beers on tap than any other bar or restaurant in the city. RFD also features a unique menu choice: food with beer in it.

“More than half the menu is cuisine a la bière, using beer as a flavor ingredient,” Alexander explained. She said that the most popular dish is the chicken with artichokes, prepared with Anchor Steam, a beer brewed in San Francisco.

The Brickskeller (1523 22nd St. NW) holds the distinction of being honored by the Guinness Book of World Records as the bar with the largest selection of commercially available beers. At any one time more than 1,000 beers are available for purchase at the restaurant. The Brickskeller will also be donating a portion of its draft beer sales to relief efforts.

In addition to RFD and The Brickskeller, a slew of bars in the D.C. area are hosting fundraisers for Hurricane Katrina:

• Two bars on Eighth Street Southeast, also known as Barracks Row, are getting into the act as well. Finn mac Cool’s (713 Eighth St. SE) is doing what it can to raise money for the Red Cross and its relief efforts across the Gulf region. This Friday, from 9 p.m. to close, there will be a suggested $5 cover charge that will be donated to the Red Cross.

If one chooses to make the donation, for the rest of the evening domestic drafts and rail mixed drinks at the Irish pub will cost only $2.50, a bargain for a Friday night by any definition.

Tapatinis (711 Eighth St. SE), a colorful martini bar located next door to Finn MacCool’s, will also hold a fundraiser. On Sept. 12, Tapatinis will donate every dollar brought in during its 5 to 8 p.m. happy hour to the Red Cross. Tuesdays are half-price martini nights at the bar, and complimentary light fare will be provided for early birds.

The inventive martinis (try the Godiva chocolate or lime coconut for something different), complemented by the warm, progressive lighting and bright geometric accents, give this lounge a far happier atmosphere than most pubs and bars on Capitol Hill.

• On Monday, a number of bars in the D.C. area will will hold a joint happy hour fundraiser. From 5 to 7 p.m. the Chi-Cha Lounge (1624 U St. NW), Gua-Rapo (2039 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va.), Mie N Yu (3125 M St. NW), Bangkok Joe’s (3000 K St. NW), Ceviche (921-J Ellsworth Drive, Silver Spring, Md.), Cloud (1 Dupont Circle NW), Gazuza (1629 Connecticut Ave. NW), Mate (3101 K St. NW), and Riedel’s (4221 B Connecticut Ave. NW) will hold a fundraiser for members of the service industry hurt by the hurricane.

During Monday’s happy hour, the proceeds from the sale of all traditional New Orleans cocktails, which will cost $10 apiece, will be donated to those folks who help keep New Orleans’ famous tourist industry running.

And what are traditional New Orleans cocktails? Examples include the Ramos Gin Fizz, a mixture of gin, orange flower water, egg whites, sugar, lemon juice, lime juice, cream and soda water.

• In Virginia, three restaurants are donating half of all dessert sales to the relief efforts. Tallula (2761 Washington Blvd., Arlington), Vermilion (1120 King St., Arlington) and the Evening Star Café (2000 Mt. Vernon Ave, Alexandria) will continue donating to the Red Cross and Catholic Relief Services until Saturday.

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