Whats Eric Eating
What's Eric Eating Episode 213

Meet the angel behind downtown's charity bar, plus good eats in Garden Oaks

The angel behind downtown's charity bar, plus good eats in Garden Oaks

Angel Share HTX Mary Ellen Angel
Mary Ellen Angel is this week's guest. Photo by Claudia Casbarian
Angel Share HTX bar interior
OKRA is now Angel Share. Photo by Claudia Casbarian
Angel Share HTX food and drinks
Food options include chicken wings and a quesadilla. Photo by Claudia Casbarian
Angel Share HTX Mary Ellen Angel
Angel Share HTX bar interior
Angel Share HTX food and drinks

On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," Mary Ellen Angel joins CultureMap to discuss Angel Share HTX. Earlier this year, Angel, the long time general manager of the Original OKRA Charity Saloon, purchased the downtown destination from its owners and reopened it with a new name. 

While the name may be new, the bar maintains its mission of donating a portion of its proceeds to a different Houston nonprofit each month. Angel tells Sandler and special guest Linda Salinas that she aims to contribute about 7 percent of sales to charity, which is an amount that has exceeded $20,000 when the bar is really busy. Salinas asks Angel about the biggest difference between being a manager versus being an owner.

"There's not a difference to me as far as logistics goes. I did all that stuff before," Angel says. "There is a personal responsibility. I am creating this space. I want to make this someplace where we can help the community around us, [and] I can give my staff a good, secure job. And do it with good energy. You create your environment around you, I think. I'm just keeping on trucking."

Later, the trio have an extended conversation about the nominee's for next month's donation, all of which have a focus on women's health. Angel recently attended the Women's March in Washington, D.C. and explains how she decided to spotlight organizations that want to help the cause of improving access to healthcare. Listen to the whole episode for the full conversation as well as a very special edition of the show's lightning round.

Prior to the interview, Sandler discusses some recent restaurant news. His topics include Blood Bros. BBQ being recognized by the New York Times; Blacksmith's recent hirings of bartender/barista Avery Davis and pastry chef Christina Au; and the opening of Sipple, a new shop devoted to selling non-alcoholic beer, wine, and spirits.

In the restaurant of the week segment, Sandler discusses his recent meal at d'Alba Craft Kitchen & Cocktails. He finds a lot to like at the recently opened Garden Oaks spot, including its spacious patio, affordable menu, and solid cocktails.

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