At Butterjoint, charity pairs well with beer | Drink | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

At Butterjoint, charity pairs well with beer

Staffers decoct monthly tips-for-donations night

Tax season is upon us, meaning it's again time to assess our charitable contributions. There are plenty of ways to donate, whether in cash, with time or just through raising awareness. But at Butterjoint's new Donations and Libations nights, doing good comes with a side of loaded fries.

The premise is simple: On the second Tuesday of each month, the staff of Butterjoint — the Oakland bar attached to Legume — will donate all cash tips to a local nonprofit. Inspiration for the events struck, as it often does, over drinks. "We came up with the idea one night while sitting at Kelly's after a long shift," says Chelsea Boyd, one of the creators of the series. "We all mostly agreed that we have an obligation to — on a regular basis, not just whimsically — give money to others who might be able to use it differently and more thoughtfully than we would."

With the enthusiastic support of management, an entire year's worth of Donations and Libations nights were mapped out. The first, benefiting the Animal Rescue League, was a rousing success, raising $900 for the organization. "We were packed that night," says Boyd, "and were able to meet and interact with people who haven't been to Butterjoint before, which was a nice bonus."

The nights are a unique way to give. They don't pressure the customer, though if you wanted to tip even more generously it would surely be welcomed. Plus, the staff gets to shine a spotlight on their favorite charities while bringing new customers to their bar. A win all around.

Even if you don't give a darn about puppies and kittens (or Amizade or Literacy Unlocked, the next two in the lineup, March 10 and April 14), go for the deals. For 18 bucks, you'll get a pitcher of craft beer and a mess of fries heaped with bacon, sour cream and house-made pimiento cheese. Charity never tasted so good.

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