Deals & Events

Gluten-Free Bakers Create the DC Happy Hour They've Been Missing

By Rina Rapuano  |  July 22, 2014

Gluten-free artisan bakers Kate Sornik and Emily Robins bonded over their similar businesses after meeting at the DC Grey Market a few years back — and as their friendship developed, so did a plan to create the kind of happy hour that they would be able to enjoy as gluten-free eaters.

“It is so hard for us to go to a happy hour and eat or drink anything except maybe the one gluten-free beer they have,” says Sornik, who makes gluten-free and vegan protein bars for her company, Kate Bakes. Robins bakes gluten-free cookies and breads for her enterprise, Goldilocks Goodies. “It basically became us creating the event we wanted to go to.”

This February, the pair launched The Hour DC, a monthly gluten-free happy hour with plenty of sans-gluten food and drinks, plus Sornik says much of the food offerings are vegan. “It’s marketed as gluten-free, but each month we try to do at least 50% vegan,” says Sornik, who is also vegan. “It usually is, anyway, because it’s healthy food to begin with. … There might be meat coming up at this one, though.”

The group’s next event is this Thursday from 6:30-8:30 PM, when attendees will gather at La Mano Coffee Bar (304 Carroll St. NW; 202-417-6266) in Takoma Park DC and then mosey over to a park across the street for the main event. The $25 tickets are all-inclusive and can be purchased here.

These deals have already passed for this month, but file this away for future reference: The first 10 ticket-buyers receive a gift bag, and the first 20 to sign up for the event can bring a friend for free.

The location and participating businesses rotate, and Sornik says attendees will find a few new options — like a rum punch and perhaps meatballs — in addition to the wine, beer and vegetarian offerings from previous months. Aside from Kate Bakes and Goldilocks Goodies treats, there will be items from Amore Gelato and Joy Bliss Raw Chocolates, among others. And since it’s an outdoor, picnic-themed event this month, there’s a rain date of July 31.

Sornik says each event has drawn about 50 people so far. And while she and Robins are shooting for 100 eventually, she has been thrilled by the excitement that’s been building via social media.

“I think it’s grown beautifully,” she says. “I’m really happy with it.”