When it comes to food and fundraisers, the only way to make it better is to throw in some alliteration. So the first-ever Badges-BBQ-Brews, taking place Saturday at the Guild House, already has a lot going for it.
The idea for the event, which is honoring first responders in the community, came about at the suggestion of Sheriff Donny Youngblood. Having just served as a celebrity guest host for lunch, the lawman asked the volunteer staff if they had ever done any events focused on drawing in men.
Ellen Plugge, Guild House president, said although men and women both dine at the nonprofit restaurant, which serves lunch weekdays September through May, there may be a perception that it's more of ladies' lunch spot.
"We wanted to do something that was more geared toward men so they would realize it's a place to come have lunch," she said. "But as more people got involved, we thought if we’re going to gear it toward men, let’s do something to honor first responders."
This evening event includes a list of special guests. Along with Youngblood, those planning to attend include Bakersfield Police Chief Lyle Martin, Bakersfield Fire Chief Anthony Galagaza and Brian Marshall, former Kern County fire chief who is now chief of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer is also on the guest list, Plugge said, in an outreach to more safety leaders in the community.
She said, "We have included the D.A.’s office, ambulance responders. ... When we do it again, we'll reach out to CHP."
So what will all these honored citizens be enjoying to eat? A buffet dinner of barbecue pork ribs and chicken will be prepared by chef Pat Coyle and his team. Sides will include chili beans, cowboy potatoes, corn on the cob, tossed green salad with Jack’s dressing ("I don't know what that dressing is," Plugge said.), potato salad and Guild House rolls.
Dessert will be a white chocolate bread pudding with a whiskey sauce.
Adult beverages will include the titular brews from Lengthwise Brewing Co. and Temblor Brewing Co., which both donated beer for the event, as well as Tejon Ranch wines, provided by event sponsors Tejon Ranch and the Outlets at Tejon.
A raffle will be held with items including a $200 Brooks Brothers gift certificate and jewelry and items from 17th Street shop Wire + Pearl.
Proceeds from the event will aid the Henrietta Weill Child Guidance Clinic, which provides mental health and substance abuse services to Kern County children, adults and families, as well as provides resources to promote wellness and recovery. The restaurant also raises funds for the clinic.
Plugge said there are still tickets available but urged people to call (496-2738) to purchase in advance.
Along with a discounted ticket price ($20 versus $30), first responders also receive a voucher for a future meal at the Guild House.
"In essence, they are not paying anything for it," Plugge said.
Along with celebrating, Plugge hopes this event helps bring a more diverse group of diners back for lunch.
"We’re really trying to appeal to younger people who are downtown who want a place for lunch. We have a good value and we put out a good product."