Haiti on the menu

A Red Deer restaurant will direct its focus — and revenues — to Haiti this Sunday.

Dwayne Gauthier

Dwayne Gauthier

A Red Deer restaurant will direct its focus — and revenues — to Haiti this Sunday.

Restaurant 27 and Lounge is organizing a fundraiser for the earthquake-ravaged country, with food and beverages from the Caribbean nation to be served and silent auctions to be conducted.

The monies raised will go to Doctors Without Borders and the Red Cross to help with their relief efforts, said Dwayne Gauthier, who operates the No. 4, 3301 50th Ave. restaurant with his brother Darren.

Restaurant patrons Sunday evening will have the opportunity to order from a special Haitian menu.

“There’ll be two different appetizers, two main courses and two deserts,” said Gauthier, listing soup joumou, Haitian-style corn fritters with spicy tomato sauce, a jerk snapper dish with Haitian rice and beans, griots, fried plantain slices and mango crepes as among the options.

Authentic Haitian beverages will also be available.

Gauthier stressed that all revenues earned from items on the Haitian menu will go to the relief fund.

“If you spend $20 on an entree, them $20 actually gets donated.”

Restaurant 27 staff are also pledging their wages for the day to the fund, with many also planning to throw their tips into the pot, he added.

Also generating money will be silent auctions running from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and 7:30 to 10 p.m.

“That’s going to be the real big thing, I think,” said Gauthier. “We’ve got a huge amount of stuff.”

That stuff includes local artwork, an acoustic guitar and stand, tickets for a Mötley Crüe concert, clothing, and gift certificates from several restaurants.

Red Deer singer Randi Bolton will perform at the restaurant from 7 to 9 p.m.

The impetus for the fundraiser arose last Sunday, said Gauthier, as restaurant staff watched televised images of the devestation in Haiti.

“Everybody said we should do something.

“First thing Monday morning, we started putting it together.”

Restaurant 27 can seat about 135, with approximately 200 people served over the course of a typical Friday or Saturday evening, said Gauthier.

He expects to exceed that tally.

“We’ve got quite a few reservations already. I think it’s going to be a really busy night, actually.”

The fundraiser is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. and he expects it to continue well past Restaurant 27’s usual Sunday closing time of 10 p.m.