Proposed San Francisco Bar Pairs Drinking with Philanthropy

United Libations wants to open the city's first non-profit bar

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United Libations /

United Libations promises to donate its profits to charity on its promotional postcards.

At a bar slated to pop up in San Francisco, the drunkest patron might actually be the most altruistic.

A group called United Libations is raising money to open a bar of the same name with an unorthodox business model. United Libations is a non-profit organization, and it plans to give every dollar of profit to selected charities. The first two projects on the non-profit’s list are to fund English classes for Haitian orphans and a rainwater collection system in Uganda, according to the group’s Indiegogo page.

“It’s a pretty simple idea,” United Libations founder and CEO Nishi Boppana said in a video on the group’s page. “We all spend money at the bar, so let’s direct that money to benefit awesome charities all around the world.”

United Libations may become San Francisco’s first non-profit bar, but it joins a handful of other “philanthropubs” sprouting up across the country. D.C.’s Cause has been serving do-gooders drinks since late 2012 in the name of selected charities, and a pub in Oregon called The Oregon Public House also donates its profits to charity, cajoling its patrons to “Have a Drink—Change the World!” Elsewhere, Atlanta brewery SweetWater re-released its Waterkeeper Hefeweizen last week to benefit a local cause: proceeds of the beer are donated to protecting the nearby Chattahoochee river. The effort is part of SweetWater’s larger “Save Our Water” campaign, launched in 2006, which promotes the protection and preservation of local waterways in Southeastern cities where its beer is sold.

Currently, United Libations is raising $8,500 to get its project off the ground. After a summer of hosting pop-up events around the city, they plan to find a permanent venue. If the group succeeds, we might just see more happy hours than ever.


A great idea! It would be wonderful if there were an area online where all such bars/charities can coordinate. If someone visits all of them, say across a state and gets the RF code from each, then they get a badge and/or free drink.

Just thinking on how to grow this concept into a national movement to broaden awareness and participation.

Bradley Good, CEO, OurGroup


@bgood There are actually a few "philanthropubs" in existence across the country already: Cause in DC and The Oregon Pub House in Portland. There have also been a few other attempts to start charitable bars in other cities that haven't quite taken hold yet. So the concept is still very much in start-up mode right now. But yes, it would be great to have a way to co-ordinate and make this a national movement! It's entirely plausible for businesses to be successful  engage customers, and give back. 

Nishi Boppana, CEO, United Libations


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