Are You Ready for Bars March?
The Bars March motto is: good times for a good cause. Bars March events raise money by enjoying the best things in life: delicious drinks, great company and great Sydney bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants. Every year, all these elements come together in a fun-filled month of cocktails, parties, dog-friendly events and a multitude of ways to #haveadrinksaveadog. For nine years, they’ve been Australia’s only annual celebration of bar culture for charity, and the cheeky antidote to ‘dry’ fundraising months.
Bars March is a month-long celebration letting you drink for a good cause. And that cause? Animals. Yep, you can spend March hopping around to different bars and smashing a tasty cocktail to help raise money for the animals in our care. What’s possibly even more exciting, is that most of the bars involved are dog-friendly — so your pooch can come along, too. It’s a win, win.
The month-long celebration of bar culture in support of animal welfare was launched in 2010 by Sun-Herald social columnist Amy Cooper with the aim to celebrate the talent, creativity and originality that personify Sydney’s bar scene, while raising money for animals – who bring to our lives even more pleasure than our favourite bars and drinks.
Since it’s launch, Bars March has evolved into an annual month-long party and favourite event on Sydney’s social calendar. It has been supported by more than 400 bars and successfully raised vital funds to support the work of Animal Welfare League NSW.
During the month of March special cocktails will once again be sold by bars in Sydney and Wollongong to raise funds, while Melbourne, Byron Bay and Toowoomba have been added to the mix this year – with venues ranging from craft cocktail bars to big lively pubs, urban breweries and distilleries.
In Sydney, the doggone good celebrations will kick off at Surry Hills’ new dog-friendly hotspot Caffe Bartolo (owned by dog-loving bar guru Jared Merlino) with a three-day $10 brunch cocktail special from Friday 1 March to Sunday 3 March. Meanwhile in the inner west, dog-friendly ‘The Erko’ – AKA Erskineville Hotel – will start the month with a Paws for a Pint dog party on Saturday, March 2.
Some firm favourites are also back in Sydney, including top fundraiser for the last two years running, O Bar Dining. This Sydney CBD venue raised $3508 for Animal Welfare League NSW in 2018, selling 1754 Unleashed cocktails over the month.
Sydney’s other participating venues for 2019 include The Commodore (Milsons Point), The Rio (Summer Hill) The Carrington (Surry Hills), Frisco Hotel (Woolloomooloo); Kittyhawk (CBD), The Lobo Plantation (CBD), The Swinging Cat (CBD), East Village Sydney (Darlinghurst), Big Poppa’s (Darlinghurst), Watsons Bay Hotel, (Watson’s Bay) and The Royal Leichhardt (Leichhardt).
In another first for 2019, Bars March will be supported by dog-loving Tito’s Handmade Vodka. With a slogan ‘vodka for dog people,’ the US craft spirit is a dedicated supporter of its local animal shelters and the distillery is home to various rescue dogs. Bars March charity fundraising cocktails in select bars will feature Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
Celebrity ambassadors for Bars March include TV vet Dr Katrina Warren, garden guru Jamie Durie and a squad of four-legged Instagram stars – the Kardashians of the canine world. They’ll all be out and about at the bars during March.
Disclaimer: Animal Welfare League NSW, supports responsible drinking. If your animal does attend a Bars March event, please ensure you drink in moderation. Your animal relies on you to keep them safe.
“Nobody knows how to enjoy life better than a dog does. Imagine if your dog could shout you a drink – you’d never have to pay a bar tab again. To me, these companions who give so much and ask for so little symbolise the whole Bars March ethos of people joining together to celebrate and do good.” – Amy Cooper, Bars March Founder
“I love all creatures, especially my beloved Rhodesian Ridgeback, Bohdi. Bodhi and I are very proud and excited to be supporters of BARS MARCH because they raise funds for animal welfare with a lot of fun to be living in the moment and making the most of each day and BARS MARCH is all about having fun responsibly and giving back to those beautiful creatures in our lives who give so much to us every day!” – Jamie Drury, Ambassador
“I am delighted to be involved with BARS MARCH,” she says. “It’s a fantastic initiative that encourages responsible drinking in a social environment while raising much needed funds for animals in need.” – Dr Katrina Warren, Ambassador