PALM SPRINGS — Eighty-three local restaurants, bars, bakeries and coffee shops participated in Dining Out for Life on April 25 donating 33% or more of their food, beverage, and liquor gross sales to support Desert AIDS Project.

Harold Matzner donated 100% of Spencer’s gross revenue in honor of his friend, Barbara Keller who championed the mission of DAP and for whom DAP’s main building will be renamed ‘The Barbara Keller LOVE Building’.  Matzner’s restaurant was the top fundraising location in North America for the second year in a row joined by Lulu California Bistro and Trio Restaurant as the top three fundraising locations.  Jointly, the three locations raised more than $74,000.

Setting a record this year, 15 participants donated 50% or more. The local event, which raised $307,000, was part of the larger Dining Out for Life program which occurs on the last Thursday of April each year.  In 2019, there were 49 Dining Out For Life events throughout North America. 2,459 restaurants participated, and with the support of 4,000 volunteers and 400,000 diners, more than $4 million was raised to support local HIV services.

Locally, the event generates great community pride of place.  Greater Palm Springs raised more funds than cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC, and San Francisco.   “This is a powerful story about the impact of generous restaurants and our local community.” Said Desert AIDS Project’s Chief Development Officer, Darrel Tucci who credits the generosity of Great Palm Springs business owners for raising a record amount this year for client services at Desert AIDS Project (DAP).  “Palm Springs is the smallest participating market, but because of their commitment to DAP, we were second in overall fundraising again this year.  No other market can boast the level of commitment shown in Greater Palm Springs.”

Beyond fundraising to support DAP’s clients and services, the event generates community awareness of HIV/AIDS and supports Desert AIDS Project’s mission to enhance health and well-being of its community. Desert AIDS Project provides compassionate care for 6,500 patients and clients.  Desert AIDS Project’s goal and specialty is helping people achieve overall health. DAP is in the midst of a capital campaign, D.A.P. Vision 2020, which when fully funded, will enable it to double the number of patients and clients served.  Desert AIDS Project CEO, David Brinkman explains why the expansion is so important.  “There are 27,000 transgender individuals in our service area that need culturally competent care.  40,000 low income residents near DAP are still without healthcare and our neighbors facing a mental health crisis often wait weeks or months for an appointment.  Treatment for addiction, is often out of reach and affordable housing is almost non-existent in Palm Springs.  The future of DAP is humanitarian, moving individuals into care and onward toward a life of wellness.

Brinkman reflected on the impact of Dining Out for Life Greater Palm Springs. “Few other events bring DAP closer to our tap root of community action. DAP was founded on unconditional love and guided by community members who defined and funded solutions to help those in need. I hope the community shares our great sense of pride in being home to the top three fundraising restaurants in North America for the third year in a row.”  Over 10,000 residents ‘made one meal matter’ at participating locations throughout the day sporting their ‘I Dined’ badges of honor.
Sponsors of Dining Out for Life Greater Palm Springs included Sysco Riverside, Nonstop Wellness, NBC Palm Springs, The Desert Sun, CV Independent, Standard Magazine, Gay Desert Guide.  The date for Dining Out for Life Greater Palm Springs 2020 is Thursday, April 30.

2019 Dining Out For Life Participating Locations

Donated 100% +
Ernest Coffee – 1-4 PM
Townie – Bagels Bakery Cafe – 110% All Day
The Barn Kitchen at Sparrows Lodge – 200% Lunch (reservations required)
Oscar’s Cafe & Bar – All Day
The Pantry at Holiday House – 200% Lunch (reservations required)
Paul Bar/Food – Dinner
Ristretto For Coffee Lovers – All Day
Rooster and the Pig – Dinner
Spencer’s Restaurant – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Donated 69%
Blackbook – All Day

Donated 60%
Tool Shed – All Day
Trio Restaurant – Lunch, Dinner

Donated 50%
533 Viet Fusion (formerly Pho 533) – Lunch, Dinner
Acqua California Bistro – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
blueEmber – Lunch, Dinner
Bongo Johnny’s – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Carousel Bakery – Lunch
Chill Bar – All Day
Evzin Mediterranean Cuisine – Palm Desert – Lunch, Dinner
Evzin Mediterranean Cuisine – Palm Springs – Dinner
FARM – Breakfast, Lunch
Gelato Grannucci – All Day
Jake’s – Lunch, Dinner
Koutouki Greek Estiatorio – Lunch, Dinner
LULU California Bistro – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Over The Rainbow Cupcakes – All Day
Purple Room Supper Club  – Dinner
Retro Room Lounge – Bar
Revel Public House Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill – Lunch, Dinner
Shop(pe) – All Day
Sunshine Cafe – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tac/Quila – Lunch, Dinner
Vinny’s Italian Ice & Frozen Custard – All Day
Zin American Bistro – Lunch, Dinner

Donated 33%
AC3 Restaurant and Bar –  Dinner
Alebrije Bistro Mexico – Dinner
Aspen Mills Bakery & Cafe – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Bernie’s Lounge and Supper Club – Dinner
Bonta Restaurant & Bar – Dinner
Brandini Toffee – All Day
Cafe’ Palmetto – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Chef Tanya’s Kitchen – Lunch, Dinner
Chicken Ranch – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Copa Palm Springs – Evening
Copley’s On Palm Canyon – Dinner
Cuistot – Lunch
Dead or Alive Bar – Evening
Del Rey – Dinner
Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge – Lunch, Dinner
El Jefe – Lunch, Dinner
Elmer’s – Breakfast, Lunch
El Mirasol at Los Arboles – Lunch, Dinner
El Mirasol Cocina Mexicana – Lunch, Dinner
Escena Lounge & Grill – Dinner
Grand Central – Dinner
HooDoo – Dinner
The Hood Bar & Pizza – Lunch, Dinner
Johannes – Dinner
John Henry’s – Dinner
Johnny Costa’s – Dinner
Juniper Table – Dinner
Justin Eat & Drink – Dinner
Kaiser Grille – Palm Springs – Dinner
Kaiser Grille – Palm Desert – Dinner
King’s Highway at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Le Donne Cucina Italiana – Dinner
Moxie – All Day
On The Mark – Lunch
Peabody’s – Breakfast, Lunch
Pinocchio in the Desert – Breakfast, Lunch
Purple Palm – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ricks Desert Grill – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Runway – All Day
Santorini Gyro – Lunch, Dinner
Sherman’s Deli & Bakery – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Stacy’s @ Palm Springs – All Day
The Broken Yolk – Breakfast
The Palms Cafe – Breakfast
The Tropicale – Dinner
Toucans – 4PM to Closing
Wilma & Frieda’s Palm Springs – Dinner

Image Sources

  • Spencer’s Restaurant: Spencer's Restaurant