By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Oklahoma City area restaurants and clubs, and local non-profit service organization Other Options, will host an evening of creative drink competition the 2015 Bar Wars event. The cocktail contest will be held on Saturday, October 17, from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. at the IAO Gallery, 706 W Sheridan Avenue, on Historic Film Row.
The benefit features local bartenders competing to win the honor of “Best Signature Cocktail” at the fourth annual Bar Wars.
Other Options mission is focused on non-discriminating, compassionate care to those in need. They provide food, resources, services, and education to at-risk individuals and families with a focus on those affected by HIV and AIDS
The competing bartenders will represent some of Oklahoma City’s favorite watering holes, including 809 Sports Grill, Rococo, Whiskey Cake, The Boom, Joey’s Pizzeria, WSKY Lounge, Apothecary 39, Guernsey Park, Bossa Nova, Copa, and VZD’s, as well as some new additions to the Oklahoma City nightlife scene.
Rockford Cocktail Den, formerly known as Grandad’s Bar at 317 NW 23rd, will be joining Bar Wars as they celebrate their opening just prior to the event.
“We are very excited to be part of this event,” said Mary Arbuckle, executive director of Other Options. “In previous years, Bar Wars has been a complete success, and helped raise significant money to help Oklahomans who are affected by AIDS, including the patients, their families, and their care-givers.”
Everyone attending the event will have the opportunity to try the signature cocktails and vote for the winner.
“For those who wish to combine their spirits with cuisine, local restaurants will be on hand to provide delicious sustenance,” Arbuckle added. “Guests will have a chance to taste many drinks some with a special flair. It should be a night to remember.”
For those who wish to pair their spirits with nosh, many local restaurants will provide tasty fare for the evening. For everyone who likes their meals on wheels, delectable derby style food trays will be circulated by the Oklahoma Victory Dolls, who are lending their support to the event again this year.
The evening will feature an array of entertainment with music provided by DJJ2O, and spectacular “Flair” performances provided by the competing bartenders.
A silent auction will feature original artwork, gift packages from local salons and spas, event tickets, and gourmet foods and wines.
One hundred percent of the proceeds raised at Bar Wars 2015 will support Other Options programs.
The primary program at Other Options is the Friends Food Pantry. It provides nutrient dense food, nutrition formula, and toiletries to over 1,064 adults and children every week.
The Food Pantry is the only free food source for the HIV population in the 405 and 580 area codes in Oklahoma.
Other programs include the Home Food Delivery Program for the home bound or bed fast, and the HOPWA program (Housing Opportunities for People Living with AIDS), which addresses specific needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families and provides grants to local communities.
Ticket prices range from $75 general admission, which includes a drink ticket for each competing cocktail, and $10 designated driver. Sponsorship levels range from $500 to $5,000. Tickets can be purchased online at www.otheroptionsokc.org, or at the door on October 17.