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After Hurricane Katrina, Charleston Grill's charismatic Mickey Bakst spearheaded a fund-raiser at the Riviera that raised $200,000. This time, he's looking to raise even more for the families of the fallen firefighters who perished in last week's blaze at the Sofa Super Store. "I want to be able to write a check to each family for $30,000," says Bakst, who feels like that goal is attainable thanks to the enthusiastic response he's getting from the chefs in town. Already 40 restaurants and 13 wine distributors have committed to creating Dine for the Charleston Nine on Sunday, July 8 with enough food and wine to warrant a $150-a-head night. To reach his goal, Bakst needs nearly 1,500 attendees. After the last fund-raiser, which became well known for the quality of the evening and the amount of money raised, that shouldn't be such a hard number to reach.

Down the street, Tim Maahs at Charleston Beer Works (468 King St. 577-5885) has decided to dedicate an entire day's worth of revenue to the firefighters. "Basically the staff and I got together and everything we bring in that evening we are going to donate to the firemen's fund — the families — every single penny, down to the tax dollars. Any gratuities will be additional donations. From top to bottom. Giving 100 percent." Maahs has enlisted the help of his vendors — Henry J. Lee, Pearlstine, Newcastle, Sierra Nevada, and U.S. Foods —who will be donating food and beer to help make sure as much money as possible gets raised this Thursday, June 28. He's also going to invite the firefighters from the station around the corner over to accept donations and good will from Beer Works customers. Maahs says he's hoping to raise at least $10,000. They open at 4 p.m. and close at 2 a.m., so you'll have plenty of time to get over there and raise a beer in salute of the guys our community lost.

The local Firehouse Subs locations, founded by firefighters, will also be accepting and matching — dollar for dollar — donations to the City of Charleston's Firemen's Fund. They're located in West Ashley at 1836 Ashley River Road, North Charleston at 7250 Rivers Ave., and Mt. Pleasant at 623 Johnnie Dodds Blvd.


Hardcore foodies looking for a personal touch can pony up to McCrady's new chef's table. Chef Sean Brock will create a meal just for you and up to 11 of your closest pals — but it will cost you. "The idea is to create a menu using the best ingredients available in the world," says Brock. "We have purchased fish from Japan, truffles from France." Beverage director Clint Sloan will also create a special pairing of wine served in Reidel Master Sommelier stemware for each dish, which will be delivered to the exquisite mahogany table and personally explained by Chef Brock. "The idea is to create a dining experience similar to what you would get at a Mobil 5 star restaurant or a Michelin starred restaurant," says Brock. Interested millionaires and splurgers can call Catherine Valente at 577-0025 to get their very special night rolling.



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