For many, it’s been a turbulent time since the US presidential elections in November. For even more people, turbulent doesn’t even begin to describe what it has been like. As certain people have come into power, social, economic, environmental, and human rights organizations have been severely undermined. Funding has been cut or dissolved and voices that previously were able to speak on issues have been silenced. This was too much for Ravi DeRossi, Sother Teague, and Max Green, the founders of Coup, a new bar in New York City that will donate 100-percent of its profits to charities impacted by the current administration.
“The idea behind a [namesake] coup is that the people create change with their own hands by coming together to accomplish one community goal and that is what we hope to do here. To put the ability to affect change right at our guests’ fingertips,” DeRossi said.
The community involved in Coup will not only be the owners and patrons, but a series of guest bartenders who will be donating their time and creativity to the bar’s efforts. On the list already are the likes of Alton Brown (on practically everything on Food Network), Dave Wondrich (cocktail historian), Jim Meehan (PDT), Dave Kaplan and Alex Day (Death & Co., Walker Inn), Ivy Mix (Leyanda, Speed Rack), and Erick Castro (Polite Provisions).
Guest bartenders will contributes one to three cocktails on their given nights in addition to the ten classic cocktails that will comprise the bulk of the menu. Currently on the list are the Martini, the Eastside, the Dark & Stormy, and others. Cocktails are $20 (and beer and wine range from $15 to $20), but the price includes tax and gratuity, as well as the opportunity to donate to a charity.
Once a drink is purchased, guests will be given a wooden token. They will then be able to put these tokens in any of the vases located around the bar, each of which will be marked with the name of a charity. There will be six rotating charities patrons can choose from and on nights that there are guest bartenders, the guest bartender can choose to donate to the six organizations Coup has chosen or an organization of their own choosing. The opening weekend and week charities are planned parenthood, ACLU, ASPCA, HRC, NRDC, and Human Rights Watch, but will change weekly after that.
“We’ve created is a cocktail bar that encourages discussion, love, respect, acceptance, and above all, creates a community where we turn our angst and despair into something beautiful and positive,” DeRossi said.
Located at 64 Cooper Square (the site of DeRossi’s former seafood restaurant Bergen Hill), Coup opened on April 14 and capacity is 80 people. Reservations are not currently being taken, as the owners’ hope is to encourage mixing and mingling among patrons.