Aug. 28, 2020 By Allie Griffin
An Astoria bar owner will host a “Give a Pint, Get a Pint” blood drive at his Ditmars Boulevard eatery Monday.
Restaurateur Martin Whelan is partnering with the New York Blood Center to host a drive at Rivercrest Restaurant and Bar, located at 33-15 Ditmars Blvd. Monday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
To entice New Yorkers to donate blood, Whelan is offering a free pint of beer to all who give blood at his bar — 24 hours after the donation to be safe.
Whelan owns a number of establishments throughout the city, including Stout NYC, and plans to bring the remote blood drives to his other eateries, where he has empty space available due to COVID-19 restrictions on indoor dining.
The region’s blood supply has dropped significantly since COVID-19 struck. The number of blood drives–typically held at schools, businesses and various organizations–has dropped by about two thirds in recent months. Approximately 75 percent of the region’s blood supply comes through drives.
Whelan hopes to make his “Give a Pint, Get a Pint” initiative permanent, even after indoor dining reopens. He said his beer tap will always be ready for NYBC donors who arrive at his establishments with a blood donor receipt.