Zinda Celebrity Bartenders Raise Money for Haiti

Former Carolina Hurricane Bates Battaglia working behind the bar

Former Carolina Hurricane Bates Battaglia working behind the bar

By Dathan Kazsuk | Jan 12, 2013

I’ve been to Zinda once before with some good friends a couple months back, and really enjoyed the food – this time I was going back to enjoy the drink.

For 2013, Zinda has launched the “Celebrity Bartender Event Series” to raise money for local charities. The events will take place on the second Wednesday of each month, with 10 percent of bar proceeds going to a nonprofit organization.

On Jan. 9, the two celebs behind the bar pouring drinks were former linebacker with the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots, Adalius Thomas, and former Carolina Hurricane’s winger, Bates Battaglia.


Former NFL linebaker, Adalius Thomas

When we arrived, Thomas was already done with his shift behind the bar, and it was Battaglia’s turn to mix the drinks.

“What can I get for you two,” Bates asks my wife and I. We order two Fat Tires.

“Oh, good, keeping it simple. I can do that,” Bates responds.

After he gives us our drinks he leans over towards a couple women standing beside me. 

“Can I get you ladies another drink?”

“No, can we get the check, please,” says one of the women. 

Bates, the great observer, sees one girl still has a half glass of wine and responds to the other woman, “She still has a half glass to go. You can have like a shot of something.”

The woman says, “Can I get a shot of water?”

Bates, not hearing her replies … “What? A shot of wine?!?”

“No, a shot of water,” she says.

“Man, that’s worse than a shot of wine.”

Eventually he gives the ladies the check and they pay and head out.  

But it was funny hearing the conversation.

The two bartenders took shifts making drinks from 6pm to 9pm that night, and 10 percent of the proceeds were going toward Hope for Haiti foundation. The objective of this Naples, FL-based organization is to help improve the quality of life for the Haitian people, particularly the children.

I hope they raised some decent funds for Haiti. The end of the night had me and the group of friends I was with chatting with Bates about his bar, Lucky B’s on Tucker Street on Glenwood South – and about football. Bates, being from Chicago, holds some alliance to the Bears, while my friend is a die-hard Packers fan, so it was pretty funny watching her get in Bates face telling him that the Bears and Jay Cutler stink. 

A perfect way to end the night. Ha.