San Francisco

Tonight: Upper Haight rallies to help former Zam Zam bartender affected by Camp Fire

Tonight from 5-9 p.m., Aub Zam Zam, the legacy cocktail bar at 1633 Haight St., is rallying to raise money for one of its own.

A year ago, bartender Chris Wagner left the bar — and San Francisco —  to start a family with his partner, Sarah Starr. The couple and their son Thomas put down roots in Paradise, California.

But last month's Camp Fire in Butte County destroyed their home, along with hundreds of others in Paradise, a small town of about 25,000 residents. 

Noah Tao, a bartender at Club Deluxe, put together a Gofundme campaign for the couple last month, with the goal of raising $10,000 to help them get back on their feet and start again. (The fundraiser has currently raised $8,300.)

Chris Wagner and Sarah Starr lost their home in Paradise, California to last month's Camp Fire. | Photo: GoFundMe

"Even though Chris left last year, he's still family," said Zam Zam bartender Kundan Baidwan.

"A lot of our customers, a lot of our people in the neighborhood aren't on the internet," she said, but wanted to know how to help.

So Baidwan and Tao put together tonight's fundraiser at Zam Zam, with the goal of raising money from Chris's former neighbors and bar patrons. The event will feature a raffle of donated prizes from local businesses, as well as a cash jar for direct donations. All money raised will go directly to Wagner and Starr.

Baidwan said that Wagner and his family are currently busy with the logistics of securing a place to live and figuring out what's next.

If you can't make it to the fundraiser tonight at Zam Zam, you can still contribute online.


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