Kung Fu Plaza, the oldest and most authentic Thai restaurant in Las Vegas, is partnering with the William Hill Estate Winery in support of local music programs and the VH1 Save The Music Foundation.
For every glass of William Hill Estate wine ordered at Kung Fu Plaza, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to local music educational programs.
"The partnership represents two firsts for this family-owned Las Vegas restaurant," says Alan Wong, general manager of Kung Fu Plaza. "We are making a commitment to support music education and joining the trend in Asia to begin pairing wines with Chinese and Thai foods."
Wong said that Thai restaurants traditionally serve beer with Thai food and some people order drinks made with Mekong, a liquor made with indigenous sugar canes, rice, herbs, and spices. However, in the last two years, Hong Kong has been developing a thriving wine culture.
"China is aiming to make Hong Kong the Asian hub for wine and encouraging its people to drink more with Asian meals," Wong says. "We've been tracking the trend since November and wine sales continue to soar in Asia."
Wong adds that most pairings had previously been confined to German Rieslings and Zinfandels. But the restaurant's new program is opening up more opportunities with William Hill.
"I had been researching which wineries to introduce for several months when I learned about William Hill Estate Winery's commitment to the VH1 Save The Music Foundation,” Wong says. "As we have been in Las Vegas since 1973, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to give back to the local community too."
In addition to matching donations for every glass of wine purchased, William Hill has supplied training cards for servers. Wong says he and some of his team members have been working hard to match the right wines.
William Hill is donating $30,000 to the national VH1 Save The Music campaign. It has also pledged a portion of all proceeds to be donated to local school programs.
"I am amazed by the impact music programs have made in so many schools across the country," Wong says. "Kids that were at risk or even dropping out of school seem to turn themselves around because music teaches them focus, renews their enthusiasm, and creates positive peer role models to follow."
The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to restoring instrumental music education in America's public schools as part of a complete education. To date, the foundation has provided more than $47 million in new musical instruments to 1,750 public schools in more than 100 cities around the country, impacting the lives of over 1.6 million children.
The VH1 Save The Music Foundation has benefited more than 31 local elementary and middle schools in Las Vegas, Logandale, North Las Vegas, and Moapa. Wong says Kung Fu Plaza is still determining which local school will receive the funds.
"It will take time because ordering wine with Chinese and Thai cuisine is so very new for people in Las Vegas," Wong says. "But we feel very strongly that every little bit will help area students over time. They need instruments and dedicated music education programs as part of their core curriculum."
Wong said the restaurant has yet to choose which schools will receive additional funds.