Portland’s Kachka mixing special cocktails to help Ukraine

Published: Feb. 25, 2022 at 8:23 PM PST
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - As soon as she found out the Russian invasion had begun, Kachka Chef and Co-Owner Bonnie Morales knew she had to do something.

“It’s just total disbelief and shock, quite honestly, and it gives me great heartache,” Morales said.

To help, Morales and her staff are offering a special cocktail to raise money for Ukrainians.

“We have a cocktail that we put on the menu called chyervoniv wine; chyervoniv is the Ukrainian word for red and we feel like that’s symbolic for the blood split,” Morales said Friday during an interview with FOX 12 from the restaurant off Southeast 11th Avenue in Portland.

“Even though I’m not Ukrainian, I feel for the position they’ve been put in,” Morales said. “We feel like we have to do something.”

All sales proceeds from the cocktail will go to the Red Cross in Ukraine to help with the humanitarian effort there.

Morales’ popular restaurant serves Russian food of the Soviet Union era and her roots run deep in eastern Europe.

The name Kachka is an ode to her grandmother’s survival as a Belarusian Jew during World War II.

Morales said her grandmother fled certain death in a ghetto in Belarus and traveled by foot for months with her young infant through forests and villages until he died. She pretended to be Ukrainian to survive and sought refuge in Russia.

Morales’ family later emigrated from Russia to the United States, where she was born.

“The Soviet Union existed for a time and place, and it had its purposes,” Morales said. “My parents came from the Soviet Union, and they left the Soviet Union because it didn’t work for them.”

“I think even Russians are even in disbelief,” Morales added. “This is a war and aggression that nobody except a few Oligarchs want.”