Drink for a cause: Chicago bars and restaurants giving back

By Samantha Nelson

If the pictures, stories, and videos of the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, and Maria have left you wanting to help, you're not alone. Chicago bars and restaurants have been stepping up to raise money for various nonprofits by running events and menu specials. From a port tasting to tropical cocktails, these eight spots are making giving back even sweeter.

Three Dots and a Dash
During October, this River North tiki bar is donating $1 to the American Red Cross' hurricane relief efforts for signature Three Dots and a Dash cocktail sold, which blends aged rhum agricole, aged demerara rum, falernum, allspice, honey, and orange and lime juices ($14). Bring a group so you can also share a pu pu platter piled with spring rolls, coconut shrimp, Thai fried chicken, and more ($38).
Neighborhood: River North MAP

The Lunatic, The Lover & The Poet
The Soggy Dollar bar in the British Virgin Islands was destroyed by Hurricane Irma, but The Lunatic, The Lover & The Poet is raising money to help the 47-year-old spot and the rest of the community rebuild. The new bistro and wine bar is serving a version of the beachfront spot's signature Pain Killer cocktail, made with rum, coconut cream, and pineapple and orange juices, and donating $1 from each of the $12 drink sold to the Virgin Airlines/Richard Branson Relief Fund.
Neighborhood: West Loop MAP

SPiN Chicago
On Friday, October 6, test the strength of your biceps from 5 to 8 p.m., when Sam Adams will donate $1 to the American Red Cross' hurricane relief efforts for every minute you can hold up a liter of beer without spilling it or bending your arm. The top five winners will be flown to Boston on Friday, October 27 for the national stein-hoisting competition. Relax after competing with ping-pong and a happy hour menu featuring $3 drinks and $4 bites. Admission is free.
Neighborhood: River North MAP

Trader Todd's
The hurricane is one of this Lakeview tropical bar's most popular drinks, but they've renamed it the Hurricane Relief cocktail until the end of Hurricane season, and are donating $2 from every sale of the drink to the Gulf Coast Humane Society and the American Red Cross. Abita Brewing Company is also donating $2 to hurricane relief efforts for every Purple Haze beer sold.
Neighborhood: Lakeview MAP

Texas de Brazil
Learn about the history of port wine and try several varieties paired with cheese, chocolate, fruit, and nuts at a tasting from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 19, where $40 from the $45 ticket is going to the American Red Cross. You'll also get to nibble on some of the restaurant's savory fare with passed appetizers, including Brazilian sausage and bacon-wrapped chicken.
Neighborhood: Streeterville MAP

312 Chicago
This Italian restaurant in The Loop just added a 312 Old-Fashioned, made with Rittenhouse rye, Demerara syrup, and orange bitters, to its menu and is giving you an extra incentive to try it by donating $3 from each purchase of the $13 drink to One America Appeal, to assist with Hurricane Harvey and Irma relief efforts.
Neighborhood: The Loop MAP

Easy Bar
Oskar Blues Can'd Aid Foundation is delivering water to Puerto Rico and supporting flood recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and you can help by sipping brews—including Ten Fidy imperial stout and Death By Coconut imperial porter ($6.50 to $8)—at a fundraiser on Thursday, October 26, starting at 8:30 p.m. For every beer purchased, one dollar will be donated to the nonprofit, and Easy Bar will also be taking cash donations.
Neighborhood: West Town MAP

Lottie's Pub
On Thursday, October 5, Chicago first responders get behind the bar from 7 to 9 p.m. at Players Sport & Social Group's fundraiser for the American Red Cross' work to help those affected by Irma, Maria, and Harvey. The $10 entry fee, plus a portion of the proceeds from Bud Light sales and a split-the-pot raffle, will all go to help the cause.
Neighborhood: Bucktown MAP

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