OKRA Charity Saloon
Julie Soefer

Poised to warm the hearts of barflies everywhere, a spate of new not-for-profit bars encourage putting back a few for a good cause. Eschewing capitalism, volunteer boards oversee the bars and, after paying operating expenses, ­channel proceeds to charity.


ArtBar by Catalyst Club
119 Gold SW; Albuquerque, N.M.

Oregon Public House
700 NE Dekum St., Portland

OKRA Charity Saloon
924 Congress St., Houston

 ARTBAR BY CATALYST CLUB in Albuquerque, N.M., sells both monthly (for just $5) and annual ($30) memberships that fund grants to arts nonprofits in the state. Members can bring 10 guests to the bar at a time and have voting privileges when it comes to doling out the dough. OREGON PUBLIC HOUSE in Portland allows patrons to choose the charity to which the profit from its burgers and IPAs will be directed. A rotating list of up to eight options includes an urban tree-planting organization, a micro-loan group working in Nicaragua and a youth music program. Most successful to date is Houston’s OKRA CHARITY SALOON, which celebrated its first year of good works and good times this past December by donating an annual total of $250,000 to a number of organizations, including Habitat for Humanity and the Houston Police Foundation. The bar itself is a collaboration of highly regarded restaurant and bar owners (its name stands for Organized Kollaboration on Restaurant Affairs), and it features beer selected by Hay Merchant owner Kevin Floyd and food from chef Paul Petronella of Paulie’s.