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Spirit Plans Sensory Bending Benefit Dinner

Pittsburgh chefs, bartenders, artists and musicians will help kick-off the Lawrenceville bar's Vault 3.0 with a benefit for its rooftop garden project.

On Friday, Oct. 26, Spirit will host a sensory-bending evening of food, drinks, and art. The benefit dinner is a collaboration among local chefs, visual and musical artists and beverage professionals. They are joining talents to raise funds for Spirit’s rooftop garden, an effort launched late last spring.

The evening will begin in Spirit’s current community garden, a city-owned plot adjacent to the venue. Guests will be served an appetizer course prepared by Becca Hegarty of Bitter Ends Garden & Luncheonette, paired with a sparkling wine cocktail courtesy of Jamie Patten, owner of Allegheny Wine Mixer. The course will be rounded out with guitar music by Rich Stanley. The rest of the event will take place inside of Spirit, within Vault 3.0, an immersive light installation by artist Ian Brill. The meal will consist of five courses, each paired with a drink and a musical performance for a fully-engaged sensory experience.  

On the culinary team, Hegarty will be joined by Spirit’s Greg Austin and Brandon Blumenfeld, executive chef of Scratch Food & Beverage in Troy Hill. Beverage professionals include Jaime Patten of Allegheny Wine Mixer, Dave Harmon of Parking Chair Vodka, Nicole Battle of Angel's Envy and LG Swanson of Spirit. The musicians include guitarist Rich Stanley, saxophonist Patrick Breiner, DJ Jesse Ley and Josh Barnes.

Spirit is a multi-purpose event hall which took over an old Moose Lodge in Upper Lawrenceville. The building is used as a venue for concerts, events and dance parties, also housing a bar and pizzeria. Much like the venue itself, the proposed rooftop garden will function in numerous ways.

“The plan includes 2,000 square feet of garden beds in recycled containers, solar panels, a small apiary, and a small event space for farm dinners, community education or gardening classes,” says ​Spirit project manager Kelsey Sheridan. Vegetables, herbs, and salad greens will be grown in the hoop houses and garden beds. A rainwater capture and irrigation system will be installed to further increase the sustainability of the project.

Friday’s benefit dinner will raise money for Phase 1 of the project, which includes resurfacing the roof, additional staircases, structural supports and solar panels.

Local businesses have donated items for a silent auction to help the fundraising effort. Tickets for the event are $125 or $175 with beverage pairing.

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