It seems that the recent unification over parking issues within the hospitality community (spearheaded by Anvil Bar & Refuge co-owner Bobby Heugel) has led to an official organization and its name is OKRA. The crunchy acronym stands for Organized Kooperative on Restaurant Affairs and has more than just parking lot issues in its sights.
Founding members include business owners from Blacksmith Coffee Bar, Greenway Coffee & Tea, Anvil, Hay Merchant, Underbelly, Antidote Coffee, Black Hole Coffee House, Poison Girl, Pilot Light Restaurant Group, Grand Prize Bar, Big Star Bar, Revival Market and 06 Restaurant Group.
Here are a few facts about the newest industry organization in town, taken from the press release.
1) The foundation for OKRA "was born over a year ago when personalities from Pilot Light Restaurant Group, (Seth Siegel-Gardner & Terrance Gallivan), 06 Restaurant Group (Justin Yu & Justin Vann), Greenway Coffee & Tea and Blacksmith Coffee Bar (David Buehrer & Ecky Prabanto), and Anvil, Underbelly, and Hay Merchant (Chris Shepherd, Kevin Floyd, Steve Flippo, Mike Burnett, & Bobby Heugel), pledged to form a loose affiliation that would one day host annual charity events as well as establish a non-profit bar in Houston."
2) OKRA is planning to host "huge food festivals each season," of which the first will be in the spring of next year, and "ALL proceeds will go to a to-be-determined charity, as will each of OKRA’s seasonal food festivals."
3) This is super cool: OKRA is "currently looking for a site to operate a non-profit bar that will ideally open this upcoming summer," where every "month a featured charity will receive ALL of the bar’s profits."
4) Want to be a supporter? Year memberships are $50 and will get you "exclusive invites to special OKRA events, classes, and dinners, discounted entry into OKRA Food Festivals, and a quarterly, self-published magazine full of commentary, information, and recipes from OKRA’s founding members."