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Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood is such a tight-knit community that patrons notice when their favorite bartender isn’t behind the bar mixing drinks—especially at an institution like Evening Star Cafe. That’s where James Morrison has been tending bar for 12 years. “He’s a rock behind the bar, super consistent, and a ridiculously nice guy,” says Dave Hammond, director of operations forNeighborhood Restaurant Group (NRG).
Morrison has been away from work because he is fighting advanced stomach cancer (he was diagnosed in the spring). He’s remained largely private about his condition, but his friends, family, and co-workers at NRG are asking for support at a critical time in his care, according to Hammond.
There are two opportunities to help. First, there’s a GoFundMe page seeking to raise $10,000 to support his fight against cancer. Then, there’s a fundraiser event this Monday at Evening Star Cafe’s two bars from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Expect a silent auction with donations from local businesses, including area restaurants, plus some guest bartenders. All tips from the evening will go to Morrison and his family.
“The response to this has been overwhelming so far—that obviously speaks to how much folks care about James, and I think it also shows how many people have been personally affected,” Hammond says. “We’re having a hard time finding a place for all the kegs people are willing to donate.”
Evening Star Cafe, 2000 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria; (703) 549-5051; eveningstarcafe.net