Vote for your favorite restaurant!

Published: 06/21/2010


Learn more about each restaurant's charitable contributions by clicking on the restaurant's name below:
Each of the following restaurants have been chosen as a finalist for the 2010 Restaurant Neighbor Awards for their charitable work in the community. It's up to you to help select the top winners. Please choose FOUR restaurants you believe should represent Washington state as the National Restaurant Association's finalists. 
Pearl Bar & Dining - Bellevue

Pearl’s Holiday Giving Project is the one Pearl feels most impacted their community—because it assisted families (notably women and children) through two vital, community outreach agencies on the Eastside: Overlake Service League and Eastside Domestic Violence Program.
Pearl reached out to the Eastside Domestic Violence Program closing the entire restaurant on Dec.1 for a fundraising event to collect toys for the many children in the organization’s homeless shelters and programs. Through their marketing outreach and inviting all their regular customers more than $1,000 in toys and another $3,000 in cash donations were raised that night alone. Although Pearl lost revenue closing the restaurant, the staff was riveted by the cause.
For the second leg of Pearl’s Holiday Giving Project, the restaurant kicked off a Giving Tree for Overlake Service League the day after Thanksgiving until Dec. 16, 2009. The tree is a holiday tree which represents the needs of one particular family (Adopt-a-Family). The family Pearl adopted was a family of seven, whose electricity had been disconnected after the family’s income had dramatically decreased. Each ornament on the tree represented a gift the family needed. Guests and Pearl staff members picked an ornament and returned it to Pearl with an unwrapped gift or other donation. We know many of this family’s wishes came true and made them more comfortable through the holiday that would otherwise not have a gift exchange, power for their home, or a holiday meal.
Pearl’s Holiday Giving Project has become an anchor for their community. As one of the only independent restaurants in downtown Bellevue, Pearl is one of the few businesses that can quickly respond to the needs of the community and take action for those who need it the most.

Canyons Restaurant - Bothell

For nearly six years Canyons restaurants have been hosting a fundraising program called ‘Dine Out at Canyons’ to benefit public schools, non-profits, charities, churches, and other organizations. Canyons creates a flyer for the specific Dine Out night and along with the participating organization distributes the flyer electronically, by hand, word of mouth, reader boards, sent home with students, table tents etc. The Canyon staff actively promote this program in-house by listening for any opportunities to describe a Dine Out at Canyons night, some have also formed their own Dine Out nights.
Several years ago a guest asked if we would match a similar fundraising event at a competing restaurant. This restaurant offered 15 percent in donation, so Canyons decided to up their percentage to 20 percent and it’s stayed this way. On the night of the Dine Out, participants bring their flyer to the restaurant and hand it to their server. At the end of the night Canyons writes the organization a check for 20 percent of the night’s net totals. Canyons typically average two Dine Out nights per store per month, and averages $200 in donation per event.
Canyons is also prevalent in helping the local community through in-kind donations as well as other organizations including: Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, YMCA, Bothell and Redmond Senior Center, Hopelink, Children's Hospital, Fred Hutchison Cancer Center, Mat Talbot Center For Men, Families Northwest, United Way, Union Gospel Mission, Boys and Girls Club, Young Life, and Sky Valley Food.

Tides Tavern – Gig Harbor

For the past eight years the Tides Tavern hosts an annual Relay for Life Spaghetti feed where all proceeds go to Relay for Life cancer research. The staff lends a helping hand by working the spaghetti feed, participating in the Relay for Life and contributing money to the cause. The community project really hit home when the Tide’s owner Peter Stanley was diagnosed with cancer. For the past eight years the Tides has raised approximately $40,000 - $50,000 to help in the fight against cancer and have set the bar for other restaurants and local Gig Harbor businesses.

Kona Kai Coffee Company - Kent

Since early 2008 Kona Kai Coffee Company has partnered with local organizations to help reduce unemployment and homelessness in the community by training individuals with the necessary skills to acquire a job in the foodservice industry. Their establishment also hosts as a training ground for people with disabilities. Kona Kai Coffee has invested more than 2,000 hours helping participants from these programs complete their internships, by providing them with on-the-job training in the Espresso and foodservice industry. Aside from training the interns and student with the necessary technical skills in the art of making espresso, Kona Kai teaches them skills that can transfer to any type of employment such as customer service, responsibility, taking direction from others, accepting feedback from supervisors and how to work as a team.
Kona Kai has a deep motivation to end homelessness due to the owner’s personal experiences with this issue. Kona Kai Coffee has interned between 20-30 people at their establishment and although they haven’t kept in touch with all their interns nearly half of them have been able to find employment after their internships were complete.
In the fall of 2009, the owners of Kona Kai Coffee founded the Halo Network Foundation (HNF), a non-profit organization whose mission is to reduce homelessness in their community by providing resources that change lives one individual at a time. Kona Kai Coffee Company has donated most of the start up costs such as licensing, supplies, labor, and a facility for Halo to host most of its functions and fund raisers as well as countless volunteer hours. HNF has had three successful fund raisers this year raising $5,000. Even though they have been small fundraisers the community support has been very generous.

Lynnwood Keg Restaurant - Lynnwood

The Lynnwood Keg Steakhouse joined forces with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Snohomish County for the past three years in hosting The Keg Art Auction. All of the art is done by the kids in the program throughout the year. The Lynnwood Keg then frames them and sets up an Art Auction open to the public for one night with all of the proceeds going back to the Snohomish BBBS. A Lynnwood Keg employee has been a mentor for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for the last seven years. In that time she noticed that most of the kids needed a way to express themselves. The employee put together a committee to create an auction to only display the kid’s art, but they found that many people wanted to buy it, so there is where they began the auction. Each spring a committee of 10 - 12 Lynnwood Keg staff members volunteer to get involved with holding the Auction in the fall. In the past two years the Keg has raised nearly $15,000 for the Snohomish Big Brothers Big sisters. This amount will support 15 new matches. The Lynnwood Keg Steakhouse also saves all of their unused crayons from the Keg’s kids meals to recycle back to three local Everett schools. These are just a few simple ideas the Lynnwood Keg employees feel have a great impact to the confidence of a child. www.kegsteakhouse.com

Popeyes Chicken - Milton

For the past four years the Milton Popeyes Chicken staff have partnered with local community churches and The Salvation Army to feed those in need in the Tacoma area. This Thanksgiving more than 2,000 people were welcomed into the restaurant for a delicious dinner prepared and served by the Popeyes staff.

Frasers Gourmet Hideaway – Oak Harbor

For the past three years Fraser Gourmet Hideaway hosts the annual Fidalgo Avenue Block Party & Free Pig Roast. Last year 3,000 attendees from the community helped raise $10,000 that was donated to the local food bank and American Red Cross.
For the past nine years Fraser Gourmet Hideaway has hosted a free community Thanksgiving dinner. Fraser’s organized and cooked 200 turkeys with all the trimmings. More than 3,500 people attended the feast that might not have had a place to go during the holidays.
Fraser Gourmet Hideaway has been a mentor chef for Oak Harbor High School ProStart program for nine years. Students intern at the restaurant for at least 6 months. Through Fraser’s dedication and determination OHHS has been state champs for four years and finished 2nd at nationals in 2010 earning more than $36,000 in scholarships.

Hiroki/Encore Desserts - Seattle

While Hiroki/Encore Desserts would love to support every initiative that their customers are involved with, as a small neighborhood bakery they simply cannot accommodate every request. Therefore Hiroki focuses on youth education for their philanthropic endeavors.
Both owners are compassionate about ensuring today's youth are well resourced to become tomorrow's leaders. For the past five years Hiroki has been involved with many education fundraisers creating desserts for organizations such as: University of Washington, Bryant Elementary, Green Lake Elementary, St. Matthews School, Spruce Street School, The Meridian School, Friends of the Children King County.

The Georgian / The Fairmont Olympic Hotel - Seattle

The Georgian partnered with the Puget Sound Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure in September 2009 to produce the Pink Ribbon Card program. This complimentary program donates 10 percent of each guest’s bill to the Susan G. Komen foundation every time they show their Pink Ribbon card in one of the restaurants in the hotel. The success of the program quickly moved to guest rooms and catering events too. Now, card holders can stay in the hotel, eat in the hotel, have an event in the hotel and 10 percent of their bill will be donated to Susan G. Komen. Since inception the hotel has donated $1,500 through guest room sales and restaurant business. The program has grown to 750 card holders to date. The Georgian also has held two Women in Wine events featuring women winemakers in Washington state. 10 percent of the proceeds from these events are donated to Susan G. Komen as well.

Washington Athletic Club - Seattle

The Washington Athletic Club together with the Seattle Police Foundation successfully coordinates the annual Seattle Police Department Holiday Buffet with all the trimmings for more than 700 men and women of the Seattle Police Department from all five precincts. Along with other city restaurant operators and purveyors the WAC has coordinated the Holiday Buffet for two years starting in 2008 with only the West Precinct of the Seattle Police Department. In 2009, following the deaths of five police officers in the metropolitan Seattle area, the WAC urged the SPF to make  the event available to the entire department. The WAC has supported the Seattle Police Foundation with in kind donations since day one with the current WAC President being one of the original founders of the Seattle Police Foundation in January 2002.
The Washington Athletic Club is also a proud partner of the Special Olympics of Washington. This year the WAC coordinated a weight lifting preliminary event at their facility to allow 36 Special Olympians to compete before the Washington state event. The Special Olympics event was a success and 36 athletes and families were treated to a world class event with lunch at the Club.
The Washington Athletic Club is a charter partner in The Boeing Greater Seattle Classic Golf Tournament. The WAC has played a large part in the planning of this event from day one and supports the golf event with volunteers, in kind donations and providing meeting space. Together with partners the WAC has raised more than $3.8 million for the beneficiary Virginia Mason Benaroya Research Institute since the inception of this PGA event in 2005.

Pike Place Bar and Grill - Seattle

Owners of the Pike Place Bar and Grill, Sandee and Gordy Brock,  founded the Skihawks Racing Team in the early seventies as a way to support the quality of life, well-being, and community integration of people with developmental and physical disabilities. The mission of the Skihawks Racing Team is to provide education, training, and competitive opportunities for developmentally challenged individuals in Alpine, Nordic, and Snowboarding disciplines. The Hawks collaborate with Skiforall to fulfill training needs and requirements, and Special Olympics to maximize competition options.  The Grill has been a fully dedicated and essential business partner in the formulation of the Skihawks from providing full and part-time jobs to people with developmental disabilities, to providing cash and in-kind support of approx $4,000,000. The team blossomed from one athlete to more than 80 athletes over the last 30 years. Skihawks is an entirely volunteer driven operation consisting of 100 coaches and volunteers. Some restaurant staff are athletes themselves, others are volunteers for the Skihawks, while others are active advocates and supporters. The Grill is a regular meeting place for all aspects of Skihawks pursuits and serves as "home base" for Skihawks operations. With Gordy having passed away in 2001, Sandee continues to advocate for the creation of a new Special Olympics sport: snowshoeing.

Cyrus O'Leary's - Spokane

Cyrus O’Leary’s believes in the rewards of giving back. For 25 years O’Leary’s has been feeding the less fortunate on Thanksgiving. The restaurant closes to the public and staff volunteers along with their friends have helped to feed more than 9,000 people who have no where else to go or no family in town. The restaurant staff feels the experience is a great and rewarding one.

Farrelli's Wood Fire Pizza - Tacoma

Farrelli's supports the men and women serving in their local armed services. Farrelli’s has seen many of their local soldiers go to battle on three and sometimes even four tours of duty in Iraq. While they are gone Farrelli’s works hard to let the soldiers know they are appreciated from afar, and when they return the restaurant works hard to give them a hero’s welcome including music festivals, participating in parades and weekly discounts for their service including a 50 percent discount. Farrelli’s honored the most recent wave of 15,000 local soldiers returning home from the Middle East with a free meal. The restaurant has even delivered their pizzas across the country so the soldiers have one last taste of home before being shipped overseas from their post on the east coast. Also, the restaurant worked closely with the local 555 Stryker brigade to establish a Farrelli's location in Iraq. The restaurant sent a package full of Farrelli’s memorabilia including signage and uniforms, which the soldiers used to turned their common break area into a remote Farrelli's location.
Farrelli’s has always recognized that being a good neighbor is the right way to do business. As a result they have been involved with many of the same organizations for at least 10 years some including: the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Susan G. Komen, Boys & Girls Club, Code 3 For A Cure, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and the local schools in their communities.

Thai Siam - Seattle

For 22 years Thai Siam has supported their community with a benefit dinner with their neighbors, friends, supporters and loyal customers. Thanks to their faithful support they have been able to raise more than $210,000 for local and national charitable causes. Every year 100 percent of the night’s proceeds go to three organizations including Neighborcare Health Medical Center, providing comprehensive health care to families and individuals who have difficulty accessing care; Union Gospel Mission in Seattle, providing shelter and other basic services to those in our community who are in need; and The School for the Crippled and Blind Children in Thailand, serving thousands of children with physical treatment, education, welfare and occupational training so they can rely on themselves and lead their lives with confidence.

Bad Albert's Tap & Grill - Seattle

Steve Katsandres, Bad Albert's Tap & Grill's owner, wanted to do more to support the local troops who sacrifice so much for the country. Brigadier General Ives is a long standing regular customer of Bad Albert's Tap & Grill. When Katsandres mentioned he wanted to help support the troops, Col Ives said he could volunteer with the 70th Regional Ready Command (RRC) for Family Readiness at Fort Lawton in Seattle. Family Readiness supports the deployed soldier’s families while they are gone.
Bad Albert’s staff have volunteered several hundred hours of support including Katsandres who volunteers two days a week with the Family Readiness program since 2004 including organization support, office work, and calling family members to make sure they are all right.  Bad Albert's also supports the troops by providing a 25 percent discount to all active members of the military. Steve’s appreciation of all the great service men and women who let him be a small part of their team led him to create a special commemorative Bad Albert’s coin to give to active members of the service who consider Bad Albert’s their home. 

Washington Restaurant Group/Melting Pot/Sip - Seattle
Owner of the Washington Restaurant Group, Lane Scelzi, is a large advocate for giving back, especially to children. Scelzi supports many children’s philanthropic efforts through his three Melting Pot locations as well as his two Sip at the wine bar & restaurants. His favorite philanthropic venture is Camp Korey, a free camp experience to children 7 to 16 with serious and often life-threatening illnesses. After visiting the camp Scelzi left with an overwhelming sense to join forces with the camp and help it thrive. Now there are camp Korey specials in all Washington Restaurant Group restaurants with proceeds going back to help fund children’s stay at the camp, Christmas party proceeds donations and special events held in Camp Korey’s honor. It’s been very gratifying to many of the team members, as they learn more about the camp not only are they educating other people about Camp Korey but they are also helping the kids through awareness and dollars raised. This experience has touched many of the staff, friends and guests alike. Since Oct. 2009, the Washington Restaurant Group has raised $10,000 for Camp Korey through constantly sharing the mission for the kids with their in-house guests, in their newsletters, through social media efforts, word of mouth and through partnerships such as Star 101.5. 

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