Love Your Neighbor
At Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach, we have the privilege of seeing the impact of Mickey Bakst's work daily. The consistent support he provides to our downtown location, Neighborhood House, enables us to serve hot meals and emergency services to thousands in our community! Mickey truly embodies what it means to be a Love Your Neighbor Award Recipient:
Compassion: this person serves the Charleston community with love and understanding - they value others and make community members feel supported.
Inclusiveness: this person doesn’t judge others, they accept people for who they are and meet people where they’re at in life.
Dignity: this person treats everyone with respect and is honest in their interactions.
Empowerment: this person empowers community members to be agent for change and works towards the betterment of our city.
Integrity: in everything they do, this person exemplifies ethical behavior and is a good steward of all they’ve been given.
Mickey Bakst: General Manager of the Charleston Grill by day, superhero by night!
Maître D, foodie, fundraiser, philanthropist, career restaurateur, mentor, and Charleston ambassador – these are just a few titles bestowed upon Mickey Bakst. As General Manager of Charleston Grill since 2004, he has been responsible for Charleston Grill becoming one of the most acclaimed restaurants in the city.
His special talent has not gone unrecognized: Mickey was named Maître’ D of the Year by Restaurant Hospitality magazine and has been inducted into the Fine Dining Hall of Fame.
While most people would have their hands full running a world-class restaurant in a city that has been consistently named the best, Mickey still finds time for “extreme community giving.” His charitable and non-profit work is extensive and includes amongst other things spearheading the fundraising efforts in Charleston for Hurricane Katrina relief raising $450,000 in 2005, Dine for the Nine (a 2009 fundraiser for the firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty) which raised $550,000 and the Community United event for the families of those lost at Emanual AME Church which raised over $600,000. He also founded Feed the Need in 2009, a charity that mobilizes restaurants to provide meals to local soup kitchens and Teach the Need in 2011, a program that
pairs professional mentors with at-risk high school students to learn front-of-the-house employment skills.
His latest charitable effort was Dining for a Cause which raised over $500,000 for three area organizations and his newest project is
Ben’s Friends which assists food and beverage people struggling with alcohol and drug issues. Bens Friends is now in 6 cities and growing.