The Gulf Caf�©: Virtually the best seafood in town

dish-gulfcafe-logoA new seafood restaurant is opening in Charlottesville, featuring some of the best seafood dishes from the waters of the Gulf Coast, including hush puppies, oysters, jumbo shrimp and baked flounder. Now, before you start salivating– sorry if you already are– Dish has to tell you there’s catch: The Gulf Caf© has no physical location and serves no real seafood.

The virtual restaurant, which will open on the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina at, is an attempt to bring awareness and financial support to those affected by the Gulf Coast oil spill. The site will allow seafood lovers with a desire to help those who bring it to our tables to place “virtual orders” off an extensive “virtual menu” specific to the Gulf region. All proceeds will go to non-profit organizations in the Gulf region that are mitigating environmental damage and assisting those in need.

While the caf© won’t satisfy our appetites for shrimp gumbo and oyster po’ boys, founder Chuck Moran hopes it will be a fun way for foodies to satisfy their appetite for charity.

"I felt I had to do something to help," says Gulf Cafe founder Chuck Moran.

“The effects of the spill are so devastating,” says Moran, a local web designer and marketing expert who founded the website with a staff of volunteers. “I felt I had to do something to help the people, the animals and the environment. This spill truly impacts all of us.”

So how does this work? Well, browse the Gulf Caf©’s menu of pictured items, select how many you’d like to order, then press checkout to enter your credit card information. Currently, all proceeds will go to the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

“Commercial fishermen face unemployment short-term and possibly long-term, which is why the first grant from our Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund went to support a center where fishermen can go for business help,” says Marco Cocito-Monoc, a Greater New Orleans Foundation director.

The Gulf Caf© also features an “Oil Spill” page with up-to-date news and video on the cleanup and effects of the disaster. Visitors can also interact with The Gulf Cafe staff and community via Facebook (search The Gulf Cafe) and Twitter (

Read more on: hurricane katrina


What is there a moratorium on spell checking too?

Cute idea, but reality dictates that we hold those accountable for this egregious violation of the gulf.

Great, well has been capped for 6 weeks now, but thousands are still out of work.

Virtual charity sites are a way to sanitize guilt.

Real issues demand real solutions and real accountability.

I'm with Chris. Some of you seem to miss the point. Based on the theory "it's BP's problem", why should I help my homeless shelter? Let Countrywide take care of them. Why should I volunteer at my local SPCA? Let the American Kennel Club deal with it. Why should I donate to the Red Cross for hurricane or flood relief?My tax dollars have already gone to FEMA. Let them fix it all.

Ain't no such thing as "unemployed." Anyone in this country without a job is just too lazy to get out of bed and compete for work with the 5 million illegal aliens who cross our southern border every hour. Fox News now, Fox News tomorrow and Fox News forever. Amen.

Good idea. Let's just rely on BP to "make it right." While we're at it, let's ask Goldman Sachs to fix the problems with the financial markets ... "Heck of a job, Brownie!"
...Shall I go on with the ways corporations and the government have failed real people in crisis. Grassroots programs like the Gulf Cafe and the Greater New Orleans Foundation are our only real hope ... if we have any hope at all.

Financial reparations should come from BP, not from donations. I will purposely not donate to this "cause" when there is a multi-billion dollar corporation that is on the hook (forgive pun) for damages.

The gulf seafood industry isn't coming back for a decade, if ever. The general public will never receive truthful, accurate information about the Gulf Coast from BP nor the US federal gov't. Anybody who believes this is a short term issue is a fool.

I tend to agree with Mr Bucks that charity should begin with the drill-baby-drillers.

Clever campaign idea though. Maybe we can look forward to a G. Huguely legal defense fund virtual sporting goods store (or handbag boutique?) someday soon.

What about the 23,000 people out of work because of Obama's ill-conceived drilling moritorium?

Perhaps, but you left out some commas, you grammar-hating maroon.

If that's all you have, you have nothing.

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