For the fifth year, Dallas' bars will host the industry's biggest annual charity event, The Fantasy Bar Draft, a one-night-only event that features five bars under one roof, on Nov. 5. The past four years, the event raised up to $130,000 for Trigger's Toys, a not-for-profit organization that donates financial support and time with Trigger (a Golden Lab) to chronically ill children. This year, host Bryan Townsend hopes to raise $300,000; to organizers, that means a change in the event's concept to appeal to a broader audience.
The concept of the event is to rally the city's industry folk (bartenders, brands, distributors and enthusiasts), allow them to create five unique pop-up bar concepts from beverage offerings to music and décor, and see which concept brings in the most money for the charity. In years past, the event has been held on Sunday nights at Henry's Majestic and was geared narrowly to the bar industry. Needless to say, the industry made the most of the night of festivities. (Read: it's a raucous party.) The "winning" concept is given the chance to take gifts to chronically ill children alongside Trigger himself.
This year, to bring in the "civilians," the event was changed drastically. Not only was the event moved to Saturday, but it was given a new home in Klyde Warren Park and renamed the Ultimate Cocktail Experience. Also, unlike years past, there will be one cohesive theme for all the bars, "Cocktails from Around the World," to feature five bars representing Asia, North and South America, Europe and Africa. Like years past, the best of the best will be slinging cocktails and schmoozing attendees. If you want a cocktail in Dallas on Nov. 5, you'll have to attend this event, since more than 100 of the state's best bar men and women will be shaking cocktails at Klyde Warren Park.
The event kicks off at 6:30 p.m. and attendees (21 and up) can purchase tickets on Prekindle for $65 to $125. All tickets include unlimited tastes of the 40 craft cocktails that will be available, one food truck item, and a "passport" that allow attendees to vote for their favorite concept.
The event should grow even more in years to come, as Trigger's Toys has set the goal "to provide one million care packages to children throughout the Metroplex, and to expand financial assistance to families in need," the group says. So whether you've been a part of festivities in past years or not, come out to support the event and see your favorite bartenders in a whole new environment.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.