‘Taco bowls for dreamers’ and more: Local eateries raise funds for people, causes under threat

Comal, above, is one of many East Bay restaurants holding fundraisers this month. Photo: Postcard PR

This past weekend, over 800 cafés across the country joined together with the coffee website Spurge to raise funds for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Over a dozen East Bay cafés joined in, including Blue Bottle, Bartavelle, Highwire and (the brand-new) Hal’s Office.

This was not the only such event organized at East Bay eateries. Not by a long shot. Protest and fundraising events have been running close to non-stop since Inauguration Day and we doubt they’ll show any sign of stopping.

Here’s where to spent your money if you’d like to participate. (We’ll update this list as we learn of additional events.)

The Persian breakfast at Bartavelle Coffee and Wine Bar. Photo: Courtesy of Bartavelle

BARTAVELLE COFFEE AND WINE BAR The Berkeley café is continuing its efforts from this past weekend with monthly fundraising actions. This month, $1 of every Persian breakfast sold in the café will go to the ACLU. In addition, the staff has decided to donate all cash tips earned over each weekend in February to Centro Legal de la Raza, a “comprehensive legal services agency protecting and advancing the rights of immigrant, low-income, and Latino communities through bilingual legal representation, education and advocacy,” according to the organization’s website.
1603 San Pablo Ave. (at Cedar), Berkeley
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COMAL Inspired by the president’s 2016 Cinco de Mayo tweet regarding taco bowls, Comal’s chef Matt Gandin has organized a “Taco Bowls for Dreamers” fundraiser benefiting the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, a non-profit that offers legal aid and support services to immigrants, refugees and, specifically, “Dreamers” who have benefited from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) act. Net proceeds from each $15 taco bowl (a fried flour tortilla bowl filled with either a beef piquadillo, rotisserie chicken or vegetarian base, plus rice, black beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, cheese, crema and guacamole) will be donated, and the bowls will be available Mondays and Tuesdays throughout the month of February. Writes Gandin on the restaurant’s blog: “It is time to make a clear statement that our immigrant co-workers seek nothing more than what our ancestors sought, and nothing less than the opportunity that our nation, America, has always promised. They are our sisters and brothers, our family, and we stand arms locked alongside them.”
2020 Shattuck Ave (between University and Addison), Berkeley
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Homeroom dishes. Photo: Dan Jung

‘SANCTUARY RESTAURANTS’ The Oakland-based non-profit Restaurant Opportunities Centers United has teamed up with Presente.org in a campaign to establish ‘sanctuary restaurants’ that are committed to non-discrimination on the basis of immigrant or refugee status, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Participating restaurants also agree to place prominent sign reading “SANCTUARY RESTAURANTS: A Place At the Table for Everyone” at their establishment, and they also must participate in a peer network to “exchange ideas and strategies for protecting targeted workers,” according to the Sanctuary Restaurants website. Many Bay Area restaurants are participating, including Standard Fare in Berkeley, and Nick’s Pizza, Juhu Beach Club, Homeroom, Camino, LocoL, Cafe Gabriela, Haven and Plum Bar in Oakland.

SEQUOIA DINER Tonight, the Oakland diner will be throwing an ACLU fundraiser, complete with tacos and sangria. In addition to food, which will be offered on a “pay what you can” sliding scale, Sequoia Diner will also host a silent action. The event will run from 6-8 p.m.
3719 MacArthur Blvd. (at High), Oakland
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