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Downtown's new cool spot: Your first look at Houston's charity bar in full beer action

Photo by Sarah Rufca
okra charity bar opening

The OKRA Charity Saloon preview party and fundraiser kicked off at 924 Congress St. on Friday afternoon.

The downtown crowd featured foodies and professional types all participating in what someone informed me was "National Duck Out of Work Day."

OKRA, which stands for Organized Kooperative on Restaurant Affairs, is the new collective of independent Houston-based bars and restaurants.

It was founded by Anvil's Bobby Heugel along with business partners Chris Shepherd, Kevin Floyd, Steve Flippo and Mike Burnett.

Photo by Sarah Rufca
okra charity bar opening

A bright red exterior announces the new charity bar to the neighborhood just off Market Square Park.

Photo by Sarah Rufca
okra charity bar opening

During the preview weekend, drinks are available by purchasing tickets. Each ticket is $3 (cash only, with a no-fee ATM on-site): One ticket buys a Lone Star tall boy and two tickets will get any other craft beer or mixed drink.

OKRA T-shirts are also available for $25.

Photo by Sarah Rufca
okra charity bar opening

The rear half of the bar has beautiful skylight ceiling, while the bar is covered by a series of high-ceilinged arches.

Photo by Sarah Rufca
okra charity bar opening

Heugel told CultureMap that all the furniture in the bar this weekend is whatever the ownership group had around

Photo by Sarah Rufca
okra charity bar opening

The view of the bar from the lofted seating area

Photo by Sarah Rufca
okra charity bar opening

Wassily chairs, craft beer and a little quiet under the stairs.

Photo by Sarah Rufca
okra charity bar opening

Kegs of local craft beer, mixed drinks and a limited menu is all ready to go.

Photo by Sarah Rufca
okra charity bar opening

OKRA Charity Saloon's preview weekend continues until 2 a.m. on Friday night and from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday.