Filled to the Brim
By Ashley Wahl
Special to The Pilot
Wednesday nights at O'Donnell's Pub have been unpredictable as of late. Owner Patrick O'Donnell says that's the point. New faces draw a wider crowd.
The pub's ninth annual Guest Bartender series dawned again on Nov. 3 and continues every Wednesday through Dec. 15. Gratuities earned by the guests go to Moore County's Empty Stocking Fund (ESF), helping to make the holiday season happier for local families in need.
"This year we've adopted seven families," O'Donnell says, which collectively consist of eight adults and 27 kids. Funds will bring books, blankets, clothing, food items and toys straight to their homes.
Last year, stylists from Studio Elite in Aberdeen raised the most money behind the bar.
"It's a great way to have a good time while giving to others," says Studio Elite owner Dawn Hussey. "That's kind of what Christmastime is all about."
They're hoping to "up the ante this year," she says.
"Usually the guest bartenders try and pick a theme," O'Donnell says.
The Studio Elite gals were 1940s pinup girls last year. In the spirit of Christmas, they plan to dress as angels on Dec.15.
"Half of the [guest bartenders] don't know how to make drinks," O'Donnell says with a laugh. "That's what makes it fun."
But there are plenty of fun factors, he assures. If last year's festivities are anything to gauge by, for instance, Rugby Mania on Dec. 1 guarantees a good time.
"Last year we had a dunking booth," says Ashley Leis, of Southern Pines Rugby Club. "This year there will be raffles, giveaways and some great prizes."
And don't worry, Leis adds, "we'll try to incorporate a few rugby traditions in there, too."
There will be new faces behind O'Donnell's bar this year too, including folks from FirstHealth Moore Regional.
O'Donnell invites the public to join his family at the pub on Thursday, Dec. 16, for a home-cooked dinner and an evening of gift-wrapping. Christmas will come early for 27 deserving kids. On Dec. 17, their stockings will be filled.
O'Donnell's is located at 133 E. New Hampshire Ave., in Southern Pines. Guest Bartender nights are from 6 to 8 p.m., every Wednesday through Dec. 15.
For more information, call the pub at (910) 695-1915.
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