It’s tough times for the F&B industry around the world, especially for bars — mainly because these convivial spaces to drink and make merry aren’t the best places to be during a global pandemic. And while restaurants might still be able to pivot to food delivery, it’s harder for bars to do the same, mostly because you’re missing out on a huge part of the experience: local casualties like Jekyll & Hyde prove just that.
It’s why the organisation behind The World’s 50 Best Bars has announced a slew of initiatives aimed at providing financial relief for bars around the world — and doing some good while they’re at it.
They call it the 50 Best for Recovery programme. At top of the list is a star-studded auction packed with bespoke, one-of-a-kind experiences with the world’s top bartenders and drink brands.
The ‘Bid for Recovery’ Auction features over 130 lots, all of which will go under the digital hammer from July 3 through 12.
Some highlights include an exclusive bar-hopping experience with the owner of the legendary Dante NYC, the 105-year-old bar and restaurant whose fabled reputation precedes it, as well as a unique time capsule cocktail session with the head mixologist from London’s Lyaness, who will distill your life into drinkable form, made from some of history’s finest and most enviable bottles that he’s accrued. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the exclusive VIP red carpet weekend at the Cannes Film Festival with Rémy Martin.
Perrier, founding donor of the initiative, will host two people with courtside seats at the Women’s Final of the French Open 2021 in Paris, after which, the winning bidders will be whisked away to the landmark hotel George V for a two-night stay — a stay that includes Michelin-starred dinners and other Parisian, gastronomic delights.
There’s even a Singapore-based experience up for auction: the Manhattan Experience, named after the inimitable bar, will let you barrel your own bespoke cocktail, along with a three night stay in a luxe hotel suite (presumably to get your creative juices flowing — and to recover afterwards).
The rest of the experiences — with range from wine region tours, sailing trips and private parties — stretch from the Dominican Republic to Italy, Mexico and Japan.
If you’d prefer to put aside travel for the year, the auction also has rare bottles of spirits up for sale.
While a portion of the auction’s sale will go directly to these bars — with grants of up to US$5,000 per establishment — the 50 Best organisation have also set aside a sizeable amount for charity.
They’ve joined forces with the Social Gastronomy Movement, a global network of organisations across 38 countries, to provide 1 million meals to those most in need.
Several other organisations, like the Black Urban Growers — a US-based organisation that supports African-American farmers in both urban and rural settings — and Singapore’s newly-formed Cocktail Bar Association, will also benefit from the donations.
On top of all that, they’re also releasing a charity cookbook. The aptly-titled ‘Home Comforts: simple lockdown recipes from the world’s best chefs and bartenders’ will be available to purchase from July 1 in exchange for a US$10 minimum donation. Money raised from the cookbook will go directly to the 50 Best Recovery Fund.
“As soon as we started reaching out to bartenders and brands and challenged them to create amazing experiences to donate for the 50 Best ‘Bid for Recovery’ Auction, the response was unbelievable,” says Mark Sansom, content editor for The World’s 50 Best Bars.
“Putting this auction together has further highlighted the solidarity of the international bar family. Now we ask all those who love bars and are blessed with sufficient resources to take part in the auction and, crucially, spread the word to friends and peers across the world.”
For more information, visit their site here.