In response to the leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion that could possibly overturn Roe v. Wade, Michele’s bar director Judy Elahi is gathering star D.C. bartenders to raise funds for Planned Parenthood.
Bartenders Against Bans is scheduled for Wednesday, June 1, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Michele’s (1201 K Street NW) in downtown hotel Eaton DC, with the entirety of the proceeds donated to Planned Parenthood.
Elahi wanted to put on the event as soon as she could after news broke earlier this month about the possible overrule of Roe.
“This is a huge issue for women,” she tells Eater. “[We wanted to gather] some of the best bartenders throughout the city and really showcase and make money for Planned Parenthood.”
Those interested can RSVP online and buy four tokens ahead of time ($60), which can be used for drinks or oysters. Attendees can also purchase tokens at the event at Michele’s, with cocktails and oysters for $14 each.
Attendees will be able to bounce between five bars, each featuring a different cocktail. Here’s the list of bartenders joining in:
- Chantal Tseng of Cocktails for End Times
- Alexandra Bookless of Shilling Canning Company
- Christine Kim of Tales of the Cocktail-nominated Service Bar, Bar Amazonia, and Causa
- Princess Johnson of Allegory, Eaton’s cocktail bar
- Monniquer Peacock, winner of Chocolate City’s Best Cocktail Competition
Each cocktail will be made with spirits from a women- or minority-owned company. Lauren Paylor will also whip up a zero-proof cocktail and discuss her Focus on Health initiative for restaurant and hospitality industry workers.
Sponsors for the event include female and minority-owned Ten to One Rum, Mocktail Club, women-owned Tenth Ward Distilling, and women-owned Republic Restoratives.
With many states in danger of restricted access to reproductive healthcare, Planned Parenthood was the ideal recipient of the funds.
“We felt like D.C. is a city state that’s going to be OK, where as somewhere like Texas or more rural parts of the United States will definitely have issues just finding basic care,” she says.
The beverage manager for Gravitas and Baker’s Daughter personally recruited bartenders to participate in the event. “How the D.C restaurant and bar scene is a little different from other states around. We really do try to take action” when it comes to causes, she says.
But as opposed to, say, a fundraiser for Ukraine, Elahi recognized that abortion can be a controversial issue for restaurants to dive into.
“I actually had some sponsors drop out, even though they were for this cause. They realized that their brand will be seen a different way if they follow through with this event,” she says. “It can be seen as controversial, but at the end of the day, it’s about women’s bodies and allowing them to choose what they need.”