Holidaze / Staff photo
In a year when it was sorely needed, local holiday pop-up bar Holidaze was able to deliver a whole lot of holiday cheer in 2020.
As it happens, the Christmas-themed bar also able to raise a pretty good chunk of change for local organizations this year as well.
Walton Arts Center officials last week announced the bar raised over $40,000 for local non-profits during its 40-day run over the holidays.
The holiday-themed pop-up bar, created by Hannah Withers and Ben Gitchel of Maxine’s Tap Room and Leverett Lounge, along with Richard Gathright, has a tradition of supporting nonprofits and hospitality workers during the holiday season.
“We felt honored to be invited into such a large and beautiful location, to work with the amazing staff at Walton Arts Center,” Withers said. “We don’t think there’s another location in Fayetteville that we could’ve done this as creatively or safely. We are thrilled that even in the midst of a pandemic, we were able to align with our original mission of giving back to our community, and we were able to hire event and hospitality workers who obviously need employment, all while creating a place of cheer to end this indescribable year.”
Nearly 10,000 patrons stopped in to Holidaze during its time at the Walton Arts Center. The bar was able to employ 22 hospitality workers and 30 event staff during the run, along with 7 artists or groups for entertainment.
The bar raised $30,000 for Walton Arts Center’s Ghost Light Recovery fund, helping Walton Arts Center offset lost revenue from canceled performances, to help maintain education and public programming, facilities and support staff until full-scale performances can resume.
The venue was also able to donate $9,280 to local non profits as a result of its Stony Bird signature cocktail. A ‘Secret Santa’ donated $10 for every one of the drinks sold, and proceeds went to Fayetteville Independent Restaurant Alliance, Northwest Arkansas Equality, Peace at Home Family Shelter and Roots Festival’s Meals for Musicians
During its annual ‘Nog off’ egg nog competition featuring creative nogs from bartenders and mixologists from Fox Trail Distillery, Brewski’s Draft Emporium, Vault, Maxine’s Tap Room, Xuma Kitchens, Infusion, Pinpoint Fayetteville and Bordino’s Restaurant and Wine Bar, an additional $800 was raised to support Fayetteville Independent Restaurant Alliance.
“I just want to say thank you to Experience Fayetteville, First Security Bank, Templeton Whiskey, Southern Glazers, our anonymous donor, and the thousands of people who came out to help raise money for some great organizations, and help employ some local hospitality workers over the holidays.” Withers said.