Thursday, 8 March 2012

30 Bars in 1 Day!

Yesterday a brave group us of ventured to an eclectic mix of 30 Sydney bars to promote Parched March, an initiative of bar-loving dog-defender Amy Cooper to raise funds for The Animal Welfare League. A cheeky opposition to the FebFast, DryJuly and Ocsober abstinence mantras, it aims to celebrate our vibrant bar culture by challenging punters to visit 30 bars in 30 days.

To show just how easy that is, we took it upon ourselves to visit 30 bars in a single day. Our mission went from midday to midnight spanning Bondi to Manly and everywhere in between (thanks to a driver all day, water taxis, ferries and cabbies). Each venue provided 2 Parched March cocktails which we shared as a group (c'mon we are crazy but not insane), and the average visit was 15 minutes. Yes, I am writing this from the couch. In ugg boots.

The cast of clowns:
Amy Cooper: Journalist, Sun-Herald
Shelly Horton: Journalist, Sun-Herald
Manny Ordillo: Journalist, Sun-Herald
Dave Spanton: Publisher, Bartender Magazine
Tim Vasudeva: CEO, The Animal Welfare League
Tiffany Farrington: Director, Social Diary
Mike Goldman: Professional Village Idiot

Here's how it went down:

Bar #1: Bavarian Bier Cafe, Bondi
Drink: Franziskaner Kristall Beer
Highlight: Mikey turned up in full Leiderhosen which set the tone for the day. Enough said.

Bar #2: The Bucket List, Bondi  
Drink: Tequila Sunrise
Highlight: owner Andy Ruwald's Parched March slogan, 'If you don't want tequila dog, have a Tequila Sunrise.'

Bar #3: Mars Sippy, Double Bay
Drink: Mrs Sippy Martini
Highlight: Our Parched March T-shirts arrived so we posed atop the bar for our first official group shot in the sunshine. Wow, the term 'group shot' here is actually legitimately photographic. It was the calm before the storm, both literally & figuratively.

Bar #4: The Belvedere Hotel, City

Drink: French Rickey
Highlight: Being described as 'a group of miscellaneous bar people.' Quite the motley crew and a befitting moniker.

Bar #5: Bavarian Bier Cafe, City
Drink: Franziskaner Kristall Beer
Highlight: The huge warm pretzels they gave us. We carb-loaded and our stomachs were officially lined.

Bar #6: Small Bar, City
Drink: Pigs Fly Pilsener
Highlight: The line up of 5 different drinks all with animals in their name - Nanny Goat Pinot Noir, Two Birds Golden Ale, Little Creatures Ale, Mountain Goat Hightail Ale & Two Elk Cider. If you order any of these throughout Parched March a donation is made.

Bar #7: York Lane, City
Drink: Negroni
Highlight: Feeling like we were in The Amazing Race, tearing through tiny laneways of the city. It would have made for hilarious television.

Bar #8: Globe @ The Observatory Hotel
Drink: Destination Venice
Highlight: We briefly felt like grown ups in this elegant bar. Emphasis on briefly.

Bar #9: The Island Bar, Cockatoo Island

Drink: Cockatoo Mystery Fizz
Highlight: LUNCH! 8 pizzas were ready & waiting for us, which we ate whilst reclining in deckchairs looking out to the harbour. Our cocktails were in coconut shells, and Kokomo was playing as we arrived. Perfection.

Bar #10: Hugo's, Manly

Drink: Cuermont Cobbler
Highlight: LUNCH #2! More stomach-lining goodness from the best pizza makers in the business. And Dave & Shelly bought cans of V from the shops. The first signs of wavering.

Bar #11: Bavarian Bier Cafe, Manly
Drink: Franziskaner Kristall Beer
Highlight: Mikey aka Hans Fickman got behind the bar and did a fine knee-slappin' jig.

Bar #12: Bar 100, The Rocks
Drink: Mandrino Jewel
Highlight: our drinks (and a round of waters) were already prepared for us - no waiting required. It allowed me time to brush my hair and reapply deodorant. I thought ahead.

Bar #13: The Argyle, The Rocks
Drink: Chewbacca
Highlight: A fitting drink, seeing as some of us were starting to sound like Chewy.

Bar #14: Jackson's on George, City
Drink: French Rickey
Highlight: A total step back in time - none of us had been here since our underage days and thankfully nothing has changed. In this city bars can come & go in a flash, making this a true Sydney institution.

Bar #15: Gin Garden @ The Establishment, City

Drink: Choc Orange Bramble
Highlight: The official halfway mark! The barman cracked open his new box of chocolate straws for us to munch on, so he gets my Fave Bartender of the Day award. He was super cute too.

Bar #16: 30 Knots, City
Drink: Apple Cider Kiss
Highlight: It was officially properly raining from this point on. Not sure how that resembles a highlight, but it's what I remember of this spot.

Bar #17: Ms G's
Yuzu Slushee
Highlight: We crashed their cocktail making class, spanked Mikey Enright and the whole group had a round of shots...c'mon, everyone knows tequila is an upper and we needed a pick me up.

Bar #18: LL Wine & Dine, Kings Cross
Drink: Jade
Highlight: Escaping the rain for a very brief respite in my fave weekend Yum Cha spot. 1/3 of the cute owner brothers was there.

Bar #19: Gazebo, Elizabeth Bay
Drink: Eager Beaver
Highlight: DINNER TIME! Amazing food was awaiting us and this cocktail was my personal fave. It tastes like violet moisturiser, but in a good way. How that is even possible is beyond me, but it is.

Bar #20: The Village, Kings Cross

Drink: Dirty Diva
Highlight: DINNER #2! They generously surprised us with a mountain of food and we were officially 2/3 of the way - no backing down now.

Bar #21: Time To Vino, Kings Cross
Drink: Madiera & Honey Mule
Highlight: Things started to get a little fuzzy at this point. It must have been the rain?

Bar #22: The Norfolk Hotel, Surry Hills
Drink: I can't remember. Things really were getting fuzzballs.
Highlight: I do recall it was super buzzy. Who the hell would go out on a horrifically rainy Wednesday night by choice except for us clowns? The other people that do were all at The Norfolk.

Bar #23: The Beresford, Surry Hills
Roller Disco
Highlight: If I'd brought my rollerskates with me, this would have been the highlight of the highlights.

Bar #24: The Winery, Surry Hills
Drink: Eager Beaver
Highlight: One word: WINE. After a day of sweet cocktails all I wanted was a full-bodied Shiraz and they happily obliged.

Bar #25: Low 302, Darlinghurst
Drink: Barrel Aged Vieux Carre
Highlight: Dave's favourite drink of the day: a true 'mans' cocktail' sans sugar, avec balls. Take note: this is what bar industry experts drink.

Bar #26: Longrain, Surry Hills
Drink: Monkey Magic
Highlight: A late night canape pit-stop of Betel Leaves & Oysters, and after leaving we hailed a cab who happened to be the same cab driver we had an hour earlier. His name was Baboo and he looked after us for the rest of our stops. Baboo is a legend, and we enjoyed saying his name. A lot.

Bar #27: Cohibar, Darling Harbour
Drink: High & Dry
Highlight: Shelly drank a 'Golden Vagina'. She said it was very tasty.

Bar #28: Cargo Lounge, King St Wharf
Drink: Eager Beaver
Highlight: More tequila shots to keep awake.

Bar #29: Bungalow 8, King St Wharf

Drink: Eager Beaver
Highlight: The manager at The Loft let us take our drinks downstairs to Bungalow 8, even though it was closed. Without this courtesy, we would have been - can you even imagine - to only 29 bars. I shudder at the thought of failure at the final hour.

Bar #30: The Loft, King St Wharf
Drink: Eager Beaver
Highlight: THE. END. !!! We'd officially done it. Feeling exhausted but accomplished, we ended the night with - what else - a tequila shot. Hurrah! Huge pats on the back for this robust bunch of reprobates.

Well...that's where everyone else ended. I went on to Bar #31: The Goldfish in Kings Cross thanks to a call on my way home from a friend wanting to have a drink with me. Like the furry creatures we are raising money for, I am it appears, an animal too.

See, start a team or sponsor one, and be kind to all creatures!


  1. can we try that in HK? and aim for a Personal Best? once around soho should do, not much walking :)

  2. 30 bars in 12 hours = AWESOMENESS! But imagine if you could get 30 bartenders in 1 venue how much faster you could do it or actually how many more drinks you could consume.