Drink for a cause.
Just two months after restaurateur Ravi DeRossi came up with the idea for a bar where all proceeds go to nonprofits threatened by the Trump administration’s policies, Coup opened its doors on April 14, with what DeRossi said was a line of about 50 people waiting to get in.
In its first two nights, DeRossi said the bar sold about $20,000 worth of drinks, the profits from which will go to one of six charities.
“It was insane,” said DeRossi, who owns several other restaurants. “People are being really supportive — it’s all people who are just really, ‘Thank you so much for doing this.’ It was packed open to close.”
Patrons at the NoHo bar get to choose from six nonprofits, placing tokens after purchasing a drink into the jar labeled with the group of their choice.
On opening weekend, Planned Parenthood saw the most donations, DeRossi said. The ACLU came in second.
The nonprofits will rotate, but during the first weekend they also included the ASPCA, Human Rights Watch, the Human Rights Campaign and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
The bar opened in what used to be Bergen Hill, a seafood-focused restaurant DeRossi owned. Now, it serves cocktails like the Fluffy Screw Driver and the Oaxaca Old Fashioned.
“After the election, me and a lot of people who work with me, we all just were depressed. And we were all drinking too much and complaining and talking about it,” DeRossi said. “I have so many immigrants who work for me and I’m the son of an immigrant, and I have bartenders asking me if they’re going to lose health care.
“And we thought, I had this space,” he added. “It was almost like a light-bulb moment.”
Larger factors will determine the lifespan of Coup, which is open seven days a week at 64 Cooper Sq. from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., DeRossi said.
“We’re calling it a pop-up,” he said. “But it’s going to be open for as long as this current administration is in power.”