local art

Art Meets Charity at Brimmer & Heeltap

When one thinks of Brimmer & Heeltap, many things may come to mind: Chef Mike Whisenhunt’s bold, playful food, proprietress Jen Doak’s big smile and vast wine knowledge, our craft cocktail offerings, the locally crafted beers we love to serve, the warm and friendly service, the neighborhood feel of the place, our tucked-away garden patio…the list goes on and on (and on).

One thing that people don’t often think of when they think of B&H is its commitment to philanthropy. From the very first day that B&H opened, Jen has been dedicated to not only feeding our community, but also bringing people together, raising awareness about vital charity work being done on a local level, and raising funds for Seattle-based nonprofits.

In addition to encouraging her team to volunteer their time to neighboring organizations, Jen also works to support the community through the creation of commemorative prints to benefit charity. Each year, Brimmer & Heeltap collaborates with a local artist to create an anniversary poster for the restaurant; net proceeds from sales of the print go towards a deserving charity. “I wanted B&H to have some tangible, creative, and philanthropic placeholder for celebrating each year,” says Jen, of the vision behind the commemorative prints. “The goal is to work with a local artist and charity to celebrate each of their talents and causes.”

Jen explains that the inspiration for the Brimmer & Heeltap anniversary poster came from an old bar she visited in Paris called Willi’s Wine Bar. For years, the wine bar has created and sold “bottle art posters” to commemorate a moment in time, and to recreate the visual emotion of the wine that the bar serves its guests. Moved by this simple, powerful idea, Jen decided to take the tradition a step further by using B&H’s anniversary posters to support local charities and artists.

Artist Kristen Winn's design for the 2016 anniversary print to benefit Big Table. 

Artist Kristen Winn's design for the 2016 anniversary print to benefit Big Table. 

In 2015, Brimmer & Heeltap partnered with local artist Mike Klay, a graphic designer, musician and outdoorsman who designed an inaugural poster in honor of the restaurant’s one-year anniversary. Sales of this poster continue to benefit the Ballard Food Bank, an important local organization that strives to feed its neighbors in need. According to its website, the Ballard Food Bank distributes food to over 1,200 individuals on a weekly basis. Its commitment to providing nourishment and resources to those most underserved in our community is something that Brimmer & Heeltap is glad to support.

This year, Brimmer & Heeltap selected Big Table as the beneficiary of proceeds from our anniversary poster. Big Table is a fantastic local organization that advocates for cooks, servers, and other members of the restaurant industry. Its mission is to “see the lives of those working in the restaurant and hospitality industry transformed by building community around shared meals and caring for those who are in crisis, transition, or falling through the cracks.” Big Table’s mission is one that hits close to home, and one that we believe in so much.

The artist behind Brimmer & Heeltap’s 2016 poster is friend and neighbor Kristen Winn. Her hand-drawn poster design is inspired by food, art, and community – three important elements that work together in harmony at Brimmer & Heeltap. The pen and ink drawings on the poster are a lovely representation of the restaurant’s spirit, and some of the lines found within it even mimic those found in our beautiful garden. Keeping with tradition, net proceeds from the poster will benefit Big Table.

Moving forward, Brimmer & Heeltap is excited to continue partnering with local artists as part of a larger effort to support our community. A restaurant has the power to exist as a space where art, ideas, philanthropy, community, and food intersect, and we are thrilled to be a hub for all of these things and more.

You can check out our commemorative prints and find more information about the artists that created them here.

Author: Caitlyn Edson