Australia is currently experiencing an unprecedented bushfire season that has, at the time of writing, left more than six million hectares of land burned, destroyed more than 1,500 homes and killed 23 people and an estimated half a billion animals.
With many bushfires still burning in Victoria and across Australia our thoughts are with the firefighters, their families and the communities affected by the fires. Many Melbourne businesses have also stepped up to help out during the crisis, with a number of restaurants, cafés and bars hosting fundraisers.
This subterranean taco and tequila joint is donating $10 from every Michelada sold during January to the Red Cross bushfire appeal.
The Lincoln in Carlton is donating $1 from every pint of Mountain Goat sold throughout the month of January, which is available at the happy hour special price of $8. Get drinking!
Red Gum BBQ
Beer and barbecue go hand in hand, so Red Gum BBQ has decided to tap a keg of Bad Shepherd, Wolf of the Willows and Jetty Road beer, and will be donating 100% of the proceeds to the Red Cross and CFA.
This St Kilda bar has set up two permanent taps pouring Stomping Ground Gipps Street pale ale and Mountain Goat lager. Freddie Wimpoles will donate $3 from the purchase of either beer towards bush fire relief until the fires are out.
Piccolina Gelateria have created a gelato lamington with all proceeds from the $12.80 frozen dessert being donated to a charity (during January it will be Wildlife Victoria). The gelato lamingtons will be available until the end of March – customers are advised to pre-order to guarantee availability.
Whisky and Alement
Whisky and Alement will be offering 'bushfire boilermakers' everyday between 4pm and 5pm everyday throughout January. The lucky dip boilermakers (the drinks will be made with stock provided by sponsors like Moon Dog, Stomping Ground, Molly Rose and Bakery Hill) cost $15 with all proceeds going to the Victorian Bushfire Disaster Appeal. If you prefer gin, you can also get a bushfire relief G&T for $12.
Here's a good reason to break your Dry January promise: Embla (and upstairs restaurant Lesa) is donating 50c from every single glass of wine sold to the bushfire appeal. That might not seem like a whole lot until you remember that Embla is a wine bar and they sell dozens (if not hundreds) of glasses of wine every day.
Throughout January, the money from every pig’s head sandwich sold at Congress will be donated to the CFA and Wildlife Victoria. The A+ sanga (Congress were the 2019 winner of our Best Bar Food Award) usually clocks in at around $8, every cent of which will go to helping those affected by fires.
Through the month of January, this trendy Richmond Japanese restaurant is collecting customer donations in-store and will be matching the total amount at the end of the month.
During the entire month of January, Hazel will be donating $2 from every cocktail sold to the CFA.
Australian Venue Co
Hospo giant Australian Venue Co has 30 venues across Victoria and all of them are donating $1 from schooners and $2 from pints of Furphy sold during January towards the National Bushfire Disaster Appeal. Venues include Trinket, Newmarket Hotel, the Imperial Bourke Street, Station Hotel and Fargo and Co (plus many more).
This Matthew McConnell tapas restaurant regularly sources its oysters from the NSW South Coast – one of the hardest-hit regions in the recent bushfires. Bar Lourinha is supporting recovery efforts by donating $2 from every oyster sold during January to relief organisation.
The Rooks Return
After already hosting a benefit gig this month, this favourite Fitzrovian bar is continuing to donate their tips to the CFA until "the country stops burning", so get in, grab yourself a cocktail and tip big.
Pt Leo Estate
Guests to Pt Leo Estate can make a donation via the CFA helmet located at the venue’s front desk. Whatever the total sum is at the end of January, Pt Leo Estate will match it.
Village Belle Hotel
Every time you buy a parma at the Village Belle Hotel during January, $1 will be donated to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal. The St Kilda pub is also giving punters the chance to donate the cost of an extra beer directly every time they buy a frothy.
Queen Victoria Market
Individual vendors at the market are also chipping in to bushfire relief efforts with Ripe Cheese donating $5 from every toastie bought between January 21 to 26.
Rockpool Dining Group
Including high end dining such as Rockpool Bar and Grill to casual fast food such as Burger Project, the dining group has already contributed $150,000 to state fire services around the country and is giving customers the option to add a gold coin donation onto their bill until January 27.
Builders Arms Hotel
This Fitzroy Hotel is donating all pay wave donations made at their bar to the CFA until January 27.
The group behind Bar Carolina, Tetto di Carolina, Cantina Carolina, Marameo and Il Bacaro have given diners the option to add $2.50 to their bill until the end of January, with all donations to be matched by the dining group.
This CBD restaurant is donating $10 from every Negroni sold to the Red Cross until the end of January.
The beloved Greek restaurant has teamed up with tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas to launch a limited edition souvlaki where 100 per cent of the sales will be donated to the CFA and Wildlife Victoria. The souvlaki will be available until the end of the Australian Open on February 2.
For the month of February, the Van Haandel Group will donate the profits from every oyster sold at the St Kilda restaurant to Rural Aid Australia's Disaster Recovery Appeal. These donations will go towards creating recovery packages for farmers affected by the bushfires.
Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery
The Country Fire Authority (CFA)
Victorian Bushfire Appeal
Rural Fire Service (RFS)
Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service (WIRES)