Andrew Markert
Andrew Markert

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Every so often chefs latch on to a hot button issue. For Beuchert’s Saloon Executive Chef Andrew Markert, recent gun-related violence prompted him to organize a fundraiser he’s calling “Forks Up, Guns Down,” benefitting the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV). The non-profit is an umbrella group of 47 national organizations working to reduce gun violence through research and political advocacy.

The July 31 event will feature bites from Bar Pilar’s Jesse Miller, Sixth Engine’s Kyle Bailey, The Hamilton’s Anthony Lombardo, among others, plus drinks from guest bartenders such as the The Dabney’s Tyler Hudgens. Markert says it wasn’t difficult to persuade friends to cook and stir beside him.

“I woke up and there was another shooting,” Markert says. He roped in the restaurant’s assistant general manager, then texted friends. “They said, ‘Yeah, we’re so in, dude.’ I kept finding more and more people who wanted to get involved.”

Gun control is a divisive national topic, but Markert wasn’t concerned about alienating customers who may not share his convictions. “You always think about the business, but at the same time, if people don’t get behind this, they’re naïve,” the chef says. “I might work on the Hill, but not that side of the Hill, and I want to do whatever we can.” 

The restaurant hopes to raise $5,000 for the CSGV by selling 100 tickets to the event for $50 apiece. Additionally, Beuchert’s Saloon staff will volunteer for the evening, donating all tips to another organization, Everytown for Gun Safety. Gourmet Symphony will provide live music for the event, which will run from 6-11 p.m.

Tickets are available here.

Beuchert’s Saloon, 623 Pennsylvania Ave. SE; (202) 733-1384;

Photo courtesy Beuchert’s Saloon.