RICHMOND, Va. – Richmond certainly does enjoy dining out for a cause, as evidenced by multiple restaurant weeks and themed events throughout the year, and now Brunch Weekend has joined the lineup.
Firefighters stumbled across this beautiful gem of an idea long ago– use pancakes to open wallets — but other than that, few diners get the chance to raise a mimosa for a good cause (other than duh, champagne).
Writers Cazey Williams and Sara Woznicki, who publish the blog “As Told Over Brunch,” were tossing around some ideas on how to combine helping out the community with their favorite meal, when Massey Alliance reached out to them.
From there, the partnership came together like bacon and eggs.
Last year, Brunch Weekend ran from May 14 to 15 and raised close to $12,000 for the Massey Alliance, in support of the VCU Massey Cancer Center.
This year 29 restaurants will participate, and 10-percent of sales – no matter what diners order – will be collected from March 24 to 25.
Leanne Ferry, who represents the Massey Alliance, said that VCU Massey Center extends treatment to all patients who seek their help – despite their income.
Ferry explained that the organization has safety net goal of $550,000, raised over a five-year period, through events like the Massey Challenge and Massey on the River. Funding goes into research, trials, and treatment.
Servers will be provided talking points to explain the work Massey does for cancer patients in the community.
Order Up, a nationwide food delivery service new to the area, has stepped in as a major sponsor to dish out support, Williams said. They have provided marketing materials and covered social media promotion.
The breakfast-centric event kicks off with a Friday evening affair from 5 to 9 p.m. at Southern Railway Taphouse, who since their opening in 2013 has supported the cancer center. There will be a live band at the red carpet event, along with all the favorite local mascots.
And there will be free brunch appetizers from 5 to 7 p.m. and a chance to win gift cards to participating restaurants. A percentage of sales that evening will also go towards the Massey Alliance.
“We like to contribute to organizations that do a lot of support for the Richmond community,” said Robert Peters, general manager at the Southern Railway Taphouse. “We hope Friday night will raise awareness to the Massey Cancer Center and how much they help people in the community.”
To wash down those free brunch appetizers will be the new Alliance Ale, a saison brewed by Steam Bell Beer Works. The beer debuts this weekend and will be found at participating restaurants. In perpetuity, 20% of keg sales will go towards the Massey Alliance.
The restaurants participating on Saturday, March 25 are 3 Monkeys, Alero, Betty On Davis, Casa Del Barco, Café Caturra, Daily Kitchen, Joe’s Inn, Lady Nawlins, Max’s, Matchbox, Metro, Postbellum, Savory Grain, Sullivans, Betty On Davis, and Tarrants Café (east and west).
The restaurants participating on Sunday, March 26 are 3 Monkeys, Alero, The Boathouse, Betty On Davis, Casa Del Barco, The Camel, Café Caturra, Continental Divide, District 5, East Coast Provisions, Grandstaff & Stein Book Sellers, Joe’s Inn, Julep’s New Southern Cuisine, Lady Nawlins, Maggiano’s, Max’s, Matchbox, Metro, Postbellum, Savory Grain, Southbound, Southern Railway Taphouse, Sullivans, Betty On Davis, and Tarrants Café (east and west).
For more information, visit As Told Over Brunch.