In the COVID-19 era, bars are shuttered. Revenue is limited to take-out, delivery cocktails for some, gift cards for others. One way you can put money in your favorite bar’s pockets is stocking up on slick t-shirts and branded merch.
It works two-fold: it financially supports the bar in times when the money is greatly needed, and in the after times, when you can walk the streets again, repping your favorite bar will help direct more customers back to it. (Call it free advertising, if you may.)
Check out the below merch for thoughtful designs that support your favorite watering hole. Don’t feel restricted to these—give your local a call to see if they’ve got something in your size.
Death & Co’s Oaxacan Old Fashioned Shirt, $30
The famed speakeasy was the birthplace of the Oaxacan Old Fashioned, and this simple black tee touts that. While you’re on the site, check out the thoroughly-stocked page of branded barware—from flasks and mugs to the brand’s beloved cocktail books.
Night + Market’s Cobra Rider Tee, $30
Merch 4 Relief is supporting bars by pairing up designers with venues, creating a run of limited-edition, expertly-designed t-shirts, and sweaters. Case in point, this tee designed by Yaroslav Svyrydenko in support of Los Angeles’ Night + Market, a Thai restaurant that boasts one of the best natural wine programs in the country (if James Beard has any say in it, that is).
Existing Conditions, $22
You may not be making Dave Arnold and Don Lee’s cocktails at home (unless you have a Searzall handy), but you can support the team at the temple of unusual cocktails via a branded shirt. The shirt is part of food culture agency Care of Chan’s campaign to support restaurants via designed merchandise (browse their website for a range of shirts from New York hotspots).
The Four Horseman Tote Bag, $30
Three Dots and a Dash Mug, $75
Stepping into this well-loved tropical bar is transportive, complete with a straw-lined roof and a menu of drinks that nod to Tiki history. Bring a bit of that escapism into your home with one of the bar’s custom mugs, designed by Tiki Farm’s Holden Westland. Each mug is part of a limited run, making them collector’s items.
Lost Lake Mai Tai Glass, $15
Also from the Chicago tropical scene, Lost Lake is offering Mid Century-chic glassware with an island twist. There are four different glasses to choose from (including three low balls and a Collins) or opt for neon-hued shirts with the bar’s logo on it. Be sure to pop a few palm swizzle sticks or garnish packs while you’re at it (and make sure your home bar is stocked with some rum).
The Spare Room Madlibs, $10
Cocktail haven-meets-bowling alley The Spare Room (helmed by Bartender of the Year Yael Vengroff) is looking to keep their loyal patrons entertained all quarantine via a cheeky pack of mad libs.
Trick Dog Menu, $20
Trick Dog’s conceptual menus have earned them nods from Tales of the Cocktail. You may be confined to making drinks from the (lucky number) thirteenth menu at home, but the bar has made service copies of the limited menu available to frame. For Number 13, the bar partnered with local Idle Hands studios to create 13 illustrations for each of the 13 cocktails on the menu.
To-Groni T-Shirt, $28
With loosened restrictions in the Big Apple, New Yorkers are sipping Negronis, well, anywhere they want. 50% of the funds of sales from this ‘To-Groni’ shirt by Love and Victory (an industry-focused illustrator) go towards the USBG.