This week's coolest cocktail party had nothing to do with a fashion launch or movie premiere. Instead, patrons and players from the spirits and nightlife industry gathered at Tiki hot spot Mother of Pearl on Monday to raise funds for Beto O'Rourke, the buzzy democratic candidate who just might steal Ted Cruz's Texas senate seat this election day, November 6th.
Leading the cause was NYC writer-on-the-scene and native Houstonian, Dan Q. Dao, who has been volunteering for the campaign remotely and on-the-ground since hearing about Beto from friends in Texas. "The Bar Night for Beto fundraiser came about super organically," he says. "I posted in a spirits industry Facebook group about wanting to host a fundraiser for Beto in NYC. Ravi DeRossi from Coup answered, and next thing you know, we had a space, a team, and so much support from the bar community."
The evening saw an enthusiastic group of Texans-turned-New Yorkers rallying for O'Rourke, enjoying tunes by It DJ Ty Sunderland, sips by cocktail legends Sother Teague and Max Green, spirits donated from the women-led Republic Restoratives distillery, and Dandy Rosé, a wine from the Texas High Plains.
"There's always been a big community of Tex-pats in New York, so to see so many of us rallying around our hometown election was inspiring to me. As Texans, we don't forget where we come from," says Dao.
In the end, the event raised $8,400 for the cool kid candidate, who has garnered support across the country. We mean, not only has he never been accused of being the Zodiac Killer, O'Rourke also skateboards and was in a rock band when he was younger (a fact that the Cruz camp thought would somehow turn people off).
On a more serious note, Dao explains that "[Beto] represents the Texas I know and love—the Texas that is the most diverse state in the country, that has led the nation in clean energy, and whose largest city is the only major American city to have ever elected an openly gay mayor. I support Beto because he is a grassroots leader who's visited every county in Texas while Cruz campaigned in every county in Iowa. Not to mention: many of our current leaders would benefit from a lesson in civility from a class act like Beto O'Rourke."
Click through for an inside look at the fundraising rager!
[Photos by Samuel Kim]