While the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy continues to swamp the Northeast, several Denver restaurants are doing their bit to help provide aid. Jax Fish House will be hosting a weekend scallop special featuring produce caught by fishermen affected by the storm; Central Bistro and Bar is serving free drinks to those who can prove they've donated to the American Red Cross hurricane-relief efforts; and Lola is offering drink and food specials to travelers stranded by Sandy.
Keep reading for details -- and if you know of more charitable efforts at local restaurants, post them in the comments section.
See also: - Slide show: Hurricane Sandy's Devastating Wrath, In Photos - Reader: Michael Brown's criticism of Obama over Hurricane Sandy poorly timed - Lola offers shelter from the storm -- and a taste of home
All three Jax locations -- in Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins -- will be working with Sea to Table, a company that helps independent fishermen find markets for their catch.
On Friday and Saturday, Jax in Denver will have a Nantucket Bay Scallop special that uses scallops from Jeff Henderson, whose dock was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Jax will also partner with Sea to Table in a program called Whole-Catch, in which fish that might otherwise be discarded are purchased, along with more valuable fish.
Big Red F, the company that owns Jax, is hoping to spread the word regarding Sandy relief in Denver. "We're not so much interested in promoting our own efforts; we'd like to invite other chefs in Colorado to join in as well," says spokesman Jason Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald thinks it's important for people to realize that their efforts benefit the consumer, Jax and the fishermen. "It will be a charitable act, but it's not strictly charity," he notes. "Nobody is giving the products away or overpaying. It's just a way to make a measurable and positive impact on someone's life."
Meanwhile, Central Bistro and Bar is offering a more liquid asset in trade for charity. Explains executive chef Lance Barto, "If you make a donation of $10 to Red Cross, they have a text message they set up and if you make that donation and show us that you've made it. then we'll buy you a drink."
The drink? A Manhattan. "It's our barrel-aged Manhattan," says Barto. "It's St. George Breaking and Entering whisky that we've aged in a barrel for three weeks. Being that Manhattan is one of the places that needs the most support, we've chosen to give away the Manhattan drink."
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In its basement lounge, Belola, Lola is also offering food and drink specials as consolation for stranded customers with an out-of-state-ID and post-dated airline ticket or boarding pass.