by June 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm 3 Comments

From Cara Scharf. Email her at cara[AT]


Philanthropub on 9th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

A few weeks ago I wrote about Borderstan’s charitable bar, Cause, the Philanthropub, starting Sunday brunch service with a few trial menu items. Now that they’ve had success with the first few brunches, they are rolling out a permanent brunch menu, which features an interesting twist on a morning favorite: “Adult Cereals.”

Yes, alongside the French toast, omelets, and Huevos Rancheros, you’ll find cereal and alcohol combos such as the “Silly Sloe Rabbit”, made with Trix, Sloe Gin, lemon syrup, and Half & Half. See the full menu here.

I encourage you all to go to Cause’s brunch and try the cereals because, well, where else in the city can you simultaneously day-drink and donate to worthy charities?  For me, though, I have to admit that a boozy breakfast just makes me think of the immortal words of Lethal Weapon character Roger Murtaugh: “I’m too old for this.”

Am I aging out of DC drinking culture at just 28-years-old?

A couple weekends ago, a friend of mine came to DC for his bachelor party. I’m female, but this was a non-gendered affair, so I trekked out to H Street and tried to work up a healthy buzz with beer and wine. We played mini golf at the H Street Country Club until 1 am and then moved on to the Rock and Roll Hotel to dance to some songs that were popular when I was in middle school. Everyone seemed to be having a jolly-good time and I was glad to be part of it, but mostly I just wanted to stop drinking and go to sleep.

I often joke that DC is full of “perpetual college students”, people who still act like they’re in college well into their 30s. It’s understandable: this is a great place to be a young professional and, with myriad opportunities to integrate drinking into activities like sports and brunch, it’s easy to keep the buzz going. But I think everyone hits a point where they’re not into it anymore. Sometimes, I feel like an outsider because I’ve reached that point a bit earlier than others.

It would be great to know I’m not alone: any of you in your late 20’s feeling the same?

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by May 4, 2013 at 8:43 am 0

From Cara Scharf. Email her at cara[AT]


Philanthropub on 9th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Brunch now has a meaning. Now you can add Cause, the Philanthropub (1926 9th Street NW) to your list of Borderstan brunch joints. Starting this Sunday, May 5, the socially conscious bar and restaurant will be open from noon to 8 pm, serving food and traditional brunch-time drinks.

Opened last October, Cause is the first restaurant in DC to donate all profits, after expenses and salary, to charity. The self-professed “philanthropub” features four nonprofit beneficiaries each quarter, chosen by Cause’s advisory committee. Diners can choose one of the four by marking their bill.

Doing good isn’t the only reason people are going to Cause. The seasonal, creative dishes are also top-notch. One of Cause’s founders, former Peace Corps volunteer Nick Vilelle, cites the positive response and requests from patrons as the reason the restaurant has expanded into brunch territory.

Cause’s chefs are still working on a set brunch menu, but in the interim Sunday brunches will feature weekly specials. This Sunday’s menu includes Huevos Rancheros, homemade cornmeal pancakes, and breakfast sammies. You can also enjoy $15 bottomless mimosas or Bloody Marys between noon and 4pm.

Vilelle is open to hearing menu suggestions from the community, so feel free to get in touch through the website.

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by March 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

From Aparna Krishnamoorthy. Email her at aparna[AT] Follow her on Twitter @aparnakris.


Philanthropub on 9th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Cause, the Philanthropub opened a few months back bringing a unique concept to DC – operating just like any other bar, but donating their profits to various charitable causes.

But even if you completely ignore all the good charitable things they do, this place is still delicious and a great addition to the area. Why?

  1. Cause they have awesome cocktails and a great beer selection. I got the “Madiba” — South African Pinotage, cognac and ginger. Refreshing and delicious. My friends had the Mahatma and the Truth, and claimed both to be very good.
  2. ‘Cause of the service. The service has always been attentive, friendly and prompt, even if the place is full. The owners even set aside tables specifically for us when we were a large group, without us specifically requesting it.
  3. ‘Cause they have great food. We got to try an assortment of the menu. To start with, we got the duck hearts on toast. I am not particularly an adventurous eater, but I loved this dish. Crusty bread with buttery duck hearts. Yum. I love wings, and really enjoyed the General Tso style chicken wings. My vegetarian friend got the “Quentil” burger — Quinoa and lentil burger. When a place offers not one but two vegetarian burgers that are not the standard “Boca” burger, I am way more than impressed. The African chicken groundnut stew with chicken confit and ground peanuts is warm and filling.  Prices are reasonable and the portions are plentiful.
  4. ‘Cause of the dry erase tables, which provide for hours of entertainment. They are meant for “brainstorming” while eating, but serve just as well for Pictionary.
  5. ‘Cause you feel better about paying your tab when you know there’s some money going to charity. At the bottom of the receipt, you check off the charity that you would like your contribution to go to.

At the end of the day, Cause is a great neighborhood bar. I will definitely go back to try some more of the innovative cocktails and interesting menu items.

If you have been, what did you think?

The Details on Cause

  • Where Am I Going: 1926 9th Street NW (just south of U Street)
  • When Am I Going: Sunday to Thursday, 5 pm to 1:30 am; Friday and Saturday, 5 pm to 2:30 am.
  • Paycheck Pain: Cocktails are about $9, beers average $6 to $8, $10 bottles of wine between 7 and 9:30 pm, Food prices range from $8 to$12 on average, with large portions.
  • Say What?: Loud, but fun.
  • What You’ll Be Eating: Eclectic, but something for everyone. Vegetarian friendly.

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by October 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm 2,107 1 Comment


Cause: DC’s Philantropub at 1926 9th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos and courtesy of Cause)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]

DC’s U Street area is no stranger to the city’s latest and greatest bars and restaurants. But no other bars, as of yet, possess a business model quite like CAUSE, a “PhilanthroPub” set to open sometime this fall on the U Street corridor.

That is because this American cuisine-style restaurant and bar (the brain-child of Nick Vilelle and Raj Ratwani) will donate its dining and drinking proceeds to charitable organizations. The designated charities (a mix of local and international) will rotate quarterly, and the patrons of CAUSE will decide where they want to donate their dining dollars.

Vilelle and Ratwani, co-founders of CAUSE, teamed up with restaurant veterans John Jarecki and Dave Pressley of The Light Horse in Old Town Alexandria. Additionally, former Queen Vic chef Adam Stein will work as the executive chef for CAUSE. With a deep passion for local farming, Stein will focus on utilizing seasonal local foods in the menu, including a number of vegetarian options.

CAUSE is at 1926 9th Street NW. For more information, visit the website.

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